Wyatt Gibson Whitfield County Georgia 5 year old boy dies of COVID-19 despite having no prior underlying health issues. Boy’s death follows onset of Delta variant in the US.
A 5-year-old Georgia boy with no underlying health conditions died of COVID-19 last week according to reports. The child’s death comes amid a reversal of recent trends in infections and deaths nationwide with the onset of the new Delta strain.
Wyatt Gary Gibson, of Calhoun, Dalton, succumbed to the deadly virus after a recent hospitalization in Chattanooga, Tennessee, relatives told AJC.
‘In a way, I know that you’re still here, but I miss you so damn much!’ the child’s father, Wes Gibson a Whitfield County deputy posted on Facebook. ‘I have lost my best friend.’
In a statement from his family released Monday, Wyatt Gibson was described as ‘a joy to all he met.’ The statement said Wyatt ‘never knew a stranger.’
Family members said the whole family got sick, including the boy’s parents and his infant sister, but only Wyatt ended up having complications, which included a stroke. He was admitted to the hospital with COVID pneumonia early last week before passing away on Friday, July 16.
Wyatt Gibson was a healthy 5yo living in N. Georgia, but he died on Fri. due to complications from COVID-19 (pneumonia & stroke), according to family.
— Zac Summers (@ZacOnTV) July 21, 2021
In the past 3 weeks as Delta progressed to dominance in the US (now ~80%), covid hospitalizations increased from their pandemic nadir, 15,000, to today over 25,000, a 67% jumphttps://t.co/xStmHRzwg2 pic.twitter.com/5vG7DsG06q
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) July 19, 2021
New Delta strain afflicting the unvaccinated
Wyatt’s death comes as COVID-19 cases have again surged across the US. The spike is being fueled by the more infectious Delta variant and a slowdown in vaccinations. In recent weeks, infection and death numbers had markedly declined from earlier year heights only to once again dramatically rise.
The new Delta variant, more highly contagious than its predecessor, the Alpha variant, was principally afflicting those individuals who hadn’t been vaccinated.
It was unclear whether Wyatt’s parents had been vaccinated prior to coming down with the virus.
Of note, Wyatt’s death comes as vaccinations for those under the age of 12 have not been authorized. Deaths among the age group, however, are extremely rare.
According to Georgia’s Public Health Department, only three other Georgians under age 10 have died from COVID during the pandemic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of the roughly 600,000 COVID-19 deaths in the US, 335 were of people under the age of 18.
Children are expected to be eligible to get vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna by early 2022.