The Tippecanoe County Health Department announced on Thursday that a county child younger than five died due to COVID-19.
The child had been hospitalized for treatment of the virus. Health officials declined to offer more specifics citing the family's privacy.
Health Officer Dr. Jeremy Adler said the virus rarely impacts children.
“Here in the state of Indiana I believe there have been a total of 12 deaths due to COVID in individuals under 20 years of age,” he said. “It’s not a common occurrence but of course it’s a very sad and tragic occurrence when it happens.”
In Indiana, COVID-19 deaths among those aged 19 and younger amount to about 0.1% of all Hoosier COVID deaths.
The most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates a total of 277 children aged 17 and younger have died nationwide due to complications involving COVID.
Dr. Adler extended his condolences to the family and noted that the death underlines the importance of using preventative measures such as mask wearing, social distancing, and vaccination to stop the spread of the virus.
“While our case numbers are better than they were in November or December the pandemic is certainly not over,” he said. “We need to not let our guard down.”
As of Thursday, the Indiana Department of Health reported 217 total deaths from COVID in Tippecanoe County.