One child in Estonia has died after catching coronavirus

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A COVID-19 sign on a door at North Estonia Medical Centre in Tallinn. Source: ERR

While coronavirus tends to have a milder effect on young people, there have been two deaths of people under 18 linked to covid-19 in Estonia. An 11-year-old died after contracting the virus and a baby was stillborn.

The National Institute for Health Development (NIHD) told ERR on Wednesday that the 11-year-old child died in March and that coronavirus had been the cause of the stillbirth.

The details were not announced at the time as the hospital did not record covid-19 as the main cause of death. The NIHD reviews the causes of death and, if necessary, makes corrections, so they have more accurate death statistics, which is what happened in these cases. 

Eda Tamme, a senior doctor-lecturer in the Department of Acute Infections at the Pediatric Clinic of Tartu University Hospital, said children usually have a milder case of coronavirus than adults. She said the symptoms usually present as a mild upper respiratory tract infection but children can also be asymptomatic. 

"However, COVID-19 can be very difficult in children and, very rarely, a child may need treatment in an intensive care unit," Tamm told ERR.

She said the disease can be more severe in children under the age of one who have chronic diseases or immunodeficiency.

"In isolated cases, children have been diagnosed with multisystemic inflammatory syndrome after COVID-19, which results in an unusual inflammatory reaction in the child, which can damage various organs," said Tamm, adding that in most cases this condition is treatable.

Since the pandemic began in Estonia, 1,270 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus. The virus has not been listed as the cause of death for most of them.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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