CHICAGO — A 12-year-old Chicago boy died from complications related to COVID-19 Thursday, according to officials.
Just after midnight, 12-year-old Ernesto Guzman from Chicago’s Southwest Side was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
A report from the Cook County Medical Examiner initially listed pneumonia as the primary cause of death, with an infection of COVID-19 a contributing factor.
“I’m sure every parent is saddened to hear this news, every life lost is a tragedy and it’s more emotional when it’s a child,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “There’s no way to predict who will have these severe outcomes.”
Guzman is the youngest person to die from the disease in Cook County since the coronavirus crisis began. He was a student at Acero Marquez school, according to the Chicago Teachers’ Union.
The medical examiner is performing an autopsy Thursday afternoon, hoping to learn more about why such a young boy succumbed to the disease.
Health officials say at least three other conditions may have contributed, including asthma, sleep apnea and a condition known as charcot-marie tooth disease, which affects the nervous system.
Guzman is now one of more than 2,700 COVID-19 deaths in illinois. Ezike said his death is a reminder to stay home and keep social distance to try to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Nobody was home at the family’s Gage Park home Thursday.