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Central Georgia pediatricians discuss signs of COVID-19 in kids

A 7-year-old in Chatham County has died from COVID-19, making him the youngest death from the virus in the state so far

MACON, Ga. — Georgia's youngest COVID-19 victim is now a 7-year-old boy.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health website, the boy was from Chatham County and had no underlying health conditions.

There have been close to 16,000 positive cases of COVID-19 in people under 17 years old in the state.

Nationally there have been only 45 deaths in children under 15.

Karen Garrett has a 13-year-old daughter and she says when she heard the news of the 7-year-old, it hit close to home.

It's a tragedy. Any death attributed to it is tragic, but especially a seven year old," says Garrett. "I can't imagine the pain that those parents are going through."

The 7-year-old's death comes as Georgia passed 4,000 total deaths in the state on Thursday.

Macon Pediatrician Dr. Lance Slade says the virus doesn't care how old you are. 

"COVID is something anyone can get at any age, so I do realize there is the possibility for that."

Dr. Joanne Kennedy with Navicent Health says it's true we don't see as many children with COVID-19.

"We know that children seem to get the virus possibly less frequently and certainly are less ill with the virus."

Headache, fever, chills, and even vomiting are all signs your child should get tested or see their doctor.

"We have seen GI symptoms, so vomiting and diarrhea would also be reasons to call your pediatrician," says Kennedy.

Both doctors say there are more serious signs to look for to know if your child needs to go to the hospital.

"If your child seems like they are having difficulty breathing or if they describe that they are having pain in their chest," says Kennedy.

Slade agrees, "When you start hearing that grunting or nasal flaring or you're seeing an increased work of breathing where they are kind of tugging underneath their ribs or they can’t just catch their breath, that’s the time they need to evaluated."

Kennedy says there is also the risk of Multi-Inflammatory Syndrome that can show up after a child has COVID-19.

"We may not have even known that they had COVID. It’s almost sort of in the recovery stage. It’s post-viral," says Kennedy.

She says many of the symptoms overlap with COVID-19.

"It can affect the heart, the lungs, the skin, the eyes, the GI tract, really any part of the body."

Both Slade and Kennedy say it's important to help your kids understand the threat of the virus is still very real, without scaring them.

Make sure they continue wearing a mask, washing their hands, and covering their cough.

"I think that everyone should continue to be concerned and be vigilant," says Kennedy.