13-Year-Old Becomes Youngest to Die of COVID in Puerto Rico


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By Mivette Vega

July 10, 2020

The teenager, a resident of Caguas who went to the hospital with an upset stomach, lost her life to COVID.

SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico Health Department Secretary Lorenzo González confirmed on Thursday the death of a 13-year-old girl from Caguas due to COVID.

“The preliminary information received establishes that the doctor certified COVID-19 as the cause of death of the teenager,” said González in a press release.

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Pulmonologist Luis Nieves Garrastegui said in an interview with WKAQ-AM the teenager was brought to the hospital with symptoms of a stomach illness.

“They took her to the hospital for gastritis because she had diarrhea and vomiting. Unfortunately, she tested positive [for COVID] after she went into [some sort of] arrest,” the doctor said in the interview.

The teenage girl is the youngest patient to have died of COVID-19 on the island, after Erica Rodríguez, who was 27 years old when she died in May.

Although González said the teenager had died from coronavirus infection, the health department will not officially confirm the death, which would then be included in the death toll count, until the death certificate is processed. 

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Dr. Nieves warned on the radio interview that the situation on the island is worsening. He said the increase being reported now does not factor in the possibility of positive test results after the Fourth of July weekend when there were gatherings in beaches and other public areas. The numbers also do not reflect the possible effects of the recent reopening phase. 

“[The numbers] we are now seeing only apply until Father’s Day and previous reopening phases. [The contagion] will continue to rise and affect all in the family,” Nieves said in the interview.

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Dr. Michael Soler, a primary-care physician, coincides with Nieves, saying the situation is of concern as the number of cases continues to increase.

“The contagion of the virus is on the rise within the population. We have never seen the curve go down. Unprotected exposure will continue to affect an upward trend,” Soler said to WKAQ-AM.



CATEGORIES: Coronavirus | Puerto Rico


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