A four-year-old girl in Texas died of Covid-19 on Tuesday after likely contracting it from her anti-vax mother, who now says she regrets the decision not to get the shot.
Kali Cook, of Bacliff, near Houston, was just beginning to show signs of infection and had a fever early Tuesday morning, her mother Karra Harwood said.
But just hours later, the young girl died in her sleep.
Harwood had been diagnosed with Covid-19 the previous day along with her fiancé William Tucker.
Kali had just started kindergarten at KE Little Elementary School, it is believed that she has not come into contact with the virus with anyone there.
“I came home and was isolated,” Harwood told the… Daily News in Galveston County.
“I tried to stay away from her and didn’t want her and my other kids to get it.”
Harwood has not been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Kali Cook, 4, is the youngest person in Texas’ Galveston County to die of coronavirus on Tuesday
Cool probably contracted the virus from her mother, who tested positive for Covid-19 the day before
Although Cook never tested positive while alive, the Galveston County medical examiner’s office confirmed she had the virus after an examination and determined her death was due to Covid-19.
Cook is the only person under 20 in Galveston County to have died from the coronavirus.
According to local health statistics, the virus has killed 465 residents in the province’s 342,000, amid 50,000 cases since it first emerged last year.
“This is terrible, but I think people should know,” said Galveston health official Philip Keizer.
He noted that while children often don’t have serious symptoms of infection, parents should seek immediate medical attention.
Cook died within hours of first showing signs of infection, and an autopsy is scheduled for Friday to determine the exact cause of death.
“It’s very important when your kids are sick not to say, ‘Oh, it’ll be fine,'” Keizer told the Daily News. “If your kids are sick, get medical help.”
Galveston’s vaccination rate is around 50 percent, which is roughly equivalent to the rate for the entire Lone Star State.
Both the province and state have seen an explosion in new infections in recent weeks since the emergence of the highly contagious Delta strain, with the health service registering 6,087 new cases on Tuesday, down from a low of 360 on June 5.
In Galveston, 72 new cases were registered on Tuesday, from a low of three on June 9.
Cook’s death came as Galveston and the Lone Star State overall has seen an explosion in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks following the rise of the contagious Delta variant
Children in Galveston have been hit particularly hard by the spread of the Delta variant, with nearly 30 percent of all cases involving children under 12 occurring in August, the local health district reported.
Harwood said she first noticed her daughter had contracted an infection around 2 a.m. Tuesday, and she was dead by 7 a.m.
“She died in her sleep,” Harwood said.
Because she died suddenly after experiencing viral symptoms for the first time, she is due to undergo an autopsy on Friday to determine a definitive cause of death.
“From our point of view, it’s unusual for a 4-year-old to die so quickly from COVID,” Kaiser said.
‘If she was in the hospital, we would know a lot more’
“Kali was fine, and then she was gone,” Harwood told the… Houston Chronicle.
Cook was known for being funny and loved the outdoors, her mother said
She said her daughter had no underlying conditions, but did tend to get sicker than her other siblings.
Keizer said contract tracing conducted by the county’s health district determined that Cook had not come into contact with others who tested positive for the virus, except her immediate family.
Harwood described her daughter as “funny and sassy,” told the Daily News: “She wasn’t your average little girl. She would rather play with worms and frogs than wear bows. She was just so beautiful and full of life.’
Harwood has a gofundme to help pay the funeral expenses, saying her family was still out of work because of Covid-19.
“Her heart was too pure for this cruel world and God decided he needed another beautiful angel by his side,” she wrote.
By Tuesday, the campaign had raised more than $20,000.