2-month-old in Michigan dies from COVID-19 complications

Lansing — A 2-month-old died from complications related to COVID-19, according to the state’s top doctor on Wednesday.

Circumstances of the child’s death were not immediately detailed by the state, but Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun acknowledged the death of the young infant while noting about 800 children across the United States have been diagnosed with multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19. 

“Studies show that while children are less likely to get severely ill from COVID-19, they still can,” Khaldun said during a press conference Wednesday. “And they can also pass it on to others including adults who are more likely to get sick or ill from COVID-19.” 

In April, Skylar Herbert, a 5-year-old from Detroit, died. Until this week, she had been Michigan’s youngest reported victim of the virus.

Skylar was admitted into Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak on March 29. She developed meningoencephalitis, which caused her brain to swell, and was put on a ventilator on April 4, where she remained for two weeks before her death.

On Wednesday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately provide further details regarding the 2-month-old child, citing confidentiality concerns. 

But the department noted the state had reported 25 cases of multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in recent months, and 41 confirmed, probable or suspect cases of Kawasaki disease since March 1. Several other possible cases of MIS-C are under investigation, said Bob Wheaton, a spokesman for the department. 

Both diseases have been associated with exposure to or contraction of COVID-19, according to the CDC. 

Henry Ford Health System has had no cases of Kawasaki disease, nor seen a higher prevalence of COVID-19 cases or deaths among pediatric patients, according to health system spokesman Jeff Adkins.

On Wednesday, Michigan added 680 cases and 11 deaths from COVID-19. The additions bring the state’s total number of cases to 113,863 and the death toll to 6,623.

With probable cases included, Michigan has had 124,969 cases and 6,932 deaths, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The state, meanwhile, has recorded five new outbreaks in K-12 schools as of Sept. 10. Data also show that seven new outbreaks have come from social gatherings and nine from colleges and universities in the state.

Khaldun’s comments came during a press conference Wednesday largely centered on informing Michigan residents about voting options in the midst of directions, with both Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson encouraging confidence in the state’s voting processes.

Benson and Whitmer have encouraged voters to mail in or drop off absentee ballots instead of voting in person in order to decrease the risk of COVID spread. More than 2.3 million people had requested absentee ballots in Michigan, up from the record 1.6 million people who voted by mail in the Aug. 4 primary. Benson said Wednesday that she expected upward of 5 million people to vote Nov. 3.