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Teen death in California attributed to coronavirus 'may have alternate explanation'

LA County had reported the country's first juvenile COVID-19 death.

LOS ANGELES — UPDATE: Los Angeles County Public Health released a statement saying the youth death attributed to COVID-19 is a "complex" case and may have an "alternate explanation." It "will require further evaluation" by the CDC, the county says.

The county's full statement reads: "The juvenile fatality that the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported earlier today will require further evaluation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though early tests indicated a positive result for COVID-19, the case is complex and there may be an alternate explanation for this fatality. Patient privacy prevents our offering further details at this time."

Original story below

One person younger than 18 is believed to be the youngest person to die from complications of related to COVID-19 in the United States. Los Angeles County said the child lived in Lancaster, CA.

In just the one county, there are 662 confirmed cases and 11 deaths as of Tuesday March 24, according to the health department.

“Each loss we experience in LA County is tragic, and we are sending our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones who've had to endure this tragedy,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Los Angeles County Public Health Director.

“COVID-19 does not discriminate by age, race or income level, and what we are seeing in places like New York is indicative of what we should prepare to experience here. While Public Health is doing everything possible to mitigate the impact of this disease in our community, we can only flatten the curve if EVERYONE takes social distancing seriously and adheres to all isolation and quarantine orders issued by our Health Officer.”

A Los Angeles health official was quoted saying this is "a devastating reminder that COVID-19 infects people of all ages." CNN's Jon Passantino reports that this is "believed to be the first child death" in the U.S. from the virus.  

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.

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