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Death of another teen with no known health issues highlights risk to all ages

The 14-year-old was one of 445 victims announced on Wednesday.

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Coronavirus swabs from patients (PA)

Coronavirus swabs from patients (PA)

Coronavirus swabs from patients (PA)

Another child with no known health problems has died after testing positive for Covid-19.

The 14-year-old was one of 445 victims announced by NHS England on Wednesday.

While it is much less likely for children to suffer severely from Covid-19 compared to adults, there have now been seven deaths of children and teenagers linked to the virus in England.

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Images of Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab’s funeral drew global attention to the risks to younger people (Aaron Chown/PA)

Images of Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab’s funeral drew global attention to the risks to younger people (Aaron Chown/PA)

PA

Images of Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab’s funeral drew global attention to the risks to younger people (Aaron Chown/PA)

People of all ages with underlying health problems are believed to be at higher risk from the effects of the virus.They include three teens with no known underlying health issues, including the youngster announced today.

But a major British study of almost 17,000 patients with severe Covid-19 found that only a very small number of children fall seriously ill.

The study, which examined data from 16,749 Covid-19 patients in 166 hospitals between February 6 and April 18, found that under-18s accounted for less than 2% of the study sample and under-fives accounting for 0.8%.

The youngest victim with no known underlying health issues was 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, who died in March aged just 13.

After his case emerged, one expert called for research into deaths which have occurred outside of patient groups believed to be at higher risk.

Dr Nathalie MacDermott, an academic clinical lecturer at King’s College London, said at the time: “It is essential that we undertake research to determine why a proportion of deaths occur outside of the groups expected to succumb to infection as it may indicate an underlying genetic susceptibility.

“Determining if this is the case could help us to learn more about the interaction of the virus with the immune system and subsequently what further treatments may be suitable in patients with severe infection.”

PA