Child dies from COVID-19 in Hamilton Co.

Posted at 3:59 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 18:41:45-04

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WTVF) — The new Coronavirus took the life of a child under the age of 5 in Hamilton County who had underlying medical conditions.

Hamilton County Health Department officials said the child died in a local hospital Wednesday.

“It is our deepest regret to share with you today our first COVID-19-related pediatric death,” Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes said in a press release. “As we mourn with the family, we also take this opportunity to urgently plead with each member of our community to practice social distancing by staying at home and take precautions to protect yourselves.”

The child is the third person in Hamilton County to die after contracting COVID-19. However, he/she was the first pediatric COVID-19-related death in the county.

The Tennessee Department of Health reported a total of 50 confirmed cases in the county as of Wednesday.


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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.


The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.