William Whang Lancaster, California 17 year old teen is first US minor to die of coronavirus after being turned away from a HMO care center facility cause he had no insurance.
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According to the Mayor of Lancaster, California, Whang had no previous underlying medical conditions, although the boy been sick for a few days in the run up to his death.
Mayor Rex Pariss said in a YouTube post (see below) that William was socializing with his friends Friday week ago – before growing so sick he visited an urgent care facility at a HMO for treatment a few days later.
‘He didn’t have insurance, so they did not treat him,’ Parris said, without naming the healthcare facility in question.
The staff at the urgent care facility told the teen to try the emergency room at Antelope Valley Hospital, a public hospital in the area, according to the mayor.
‘En route to AV Hospital, he went into cardiac arrest, when he got to AV hospital they were able to revive him and keep him alive for about six hours.’
Pariss said that, by the time he had arrived at the hospital, ‘it was too late’ for him to be saved.
Confusion as to what ultimately killed 17 year old boy:
The teenager’s cause of death was believed to be the result of septic shock. The Global Sepsis Alliance says COVID-19 can cause sepsis, which can lead to septic shock.
The LA County Medical Examiner has not listed Whang’s cause of death and says an investigation is pending to determine if it was in fact due to COVID-19.
A report via Time magazine, cited the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health which clarified that the patient tested positive for the virus, while suggesting there may have been an ‘alternate explanation’ for the death as the case was complex. The case would need to be examined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the department announced in a statement.
But there’s more.
First US teen minor death due to COVID-19 continues to remain complex as LA county is hit with influx of infections:
The Sun reports Whang’s family having no idea that the teen had coronavirus at the time of his death, and even held a funeral with the body earlier this week.
Speaking to the Sun, Pariss said: “They had the funeral already. His family has no idea he was the boy in the news.’
‘The family didn’t know about COVID-19. They were shaking hands at the funeral.’
Whang’s father has been trying to get tested but to no avail, Pariss said: ‘He has just been told to self-quarantine.’
Pariss added that the teen ‘did not meet the criteria for public health to OK a test and the only time he was tested was after he died.’
There have been claims the teen had bacterial pneumonia and possibly an underlying heart condition, but none of that has been confirmed at this time.
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti also responded to the death, stating on Wednesday: ‘I was informed by the county that this individual did not have pre-existing conditions. It’s a sober reminder that anybody can die from this disease.’
In a statement released yesterday, LA County health officials said: ‘Though early tests indicated a positive result for COVID-19, the case is complex and there may be an alternate explanation for this fatality.’
According to the LA Times, the number of coronavirus cases continued to surge in Los Angeles County, with officials on Friday reporting 257 new cases and five more deaths, bringing the county’s total death toll to 26.
The total number of coronavirus infections in the US as of Saturday stood at 104,256 and 1704 deaths. Those numbers are expected to now exponentially rise as the US has yet to figure out how to address rising infections and a healthcare system unprepared to deal with society’s needs.