DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is saddened to confirm the first death of a child due to complications from COVID-19. The child was under the age of five, and had significant underlying health conditions.
The death occurred in June and the case investigation was completed on August 6 by the State Medical Examiner. The child’s death was publicly reported this weekend after ensuring the individual's identity would remain protected and notifying the family. When any pediatric death occurs, which includes any individual under the age of 17, due to disease or other unnatural circumstances, the medical examiner performs a number of routine tests.
The investigation to confirm cause of death includes extensive pathology, metabolic and other tests that can take months to complete and certify, depending on the complexity of the case. In this case, the Medical examiner performed a full range of testing, given the complicating factor of the child’s health history. Ultimately, COVID-19 was deemed the cause of death.
We have made every effort to protect the identity of this child, while the family grieves this devastating loss. Again, we send our sincerest condolences.