In Brief

Teenage boy believed to be youngest UK Covid-19 victim

13-year-old boy died alone after testing positive for coronavirus

A 13-year-old boy who tested positive for coronavirus has died, a London hospital trust has said.

Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, from Brixton in south London, died in King’s College Hospital early on Monday and is thought to be the youngest person to have died with the virus in the UK.

According to a GoFundMe page set up to raise funds for funeral costs, Abdulwahab died “without any family members close by due to the highly infectious nature of Covid-19”.

In a statement released by a friend, Abdulwahab’s family said he had no apparent underlying health conditions and had tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday. They said they were “beyond devastated” by his death.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For a round-up of the most important stories from around the world - and a concise, refreshing and balanced take on the week’s news agenda - try The Week magazine. Start your trial subscription today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

A spokesman for King’s College hospital NHS foundation trust said: “Our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time. The death has been referred to the coroner and no further comment will be made.”

Doctors have warned that while older people with health issues are at particular risk from the virus, young people can also be badly affected.

Earlier this week, Luca Di Nicola, a 19-year-old assistant chef, also died after testing positive for coronavirus. Sky News reports that it is understoof he was also a “very healthy” teenager, with no underlying health issues.

Nathalie MacDermott, a clinical lecturer at King’s College Hospital, told the Daily Mail: “While we know it is much less likely for children to suffer severe COVID-19 infection than older adults, this case highlights the importance of us all taking the precautions we can to reduce the spread of infection in the UK and worldwide.”

Vanessa Sancho-Shimizu, a research fellow in infectious diseases and virology at Imperial College London, echoed this, saying the deaths showed that “however exceedingly rare this may be, statistics means nothing when it affects those close to you, and that there is no room for complacency in this pandemic”.

BBC health correspondent, Nick Triggle, writes that it remains rare for teenagers to become seriously ill after catching the virus.

“Just 0.3% of those who show symptoms require hospital care and 0.006% die - in other words, two out of every 30,000 infections among this age group will not survive,” Triggle said.

Recommended

Covid-19: everything you need to know about coronavirus
coronavirus.jpg
Coronavirus

Covid-19: everything you need to know about coronavirus

Indian Wells tennis cancelled - is Wimbledon in danger?
Novak Djokovic kisses the winner’s trophy after beating Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final
In Brief

Indian Wells tennis cancelled - is Wimbledon in danger?

Coronavirus impact on sport: ‘serious concerns’ for Olympics
Officials at the Japan Coast Guard base in Yokohama where a cruise ship is in quarantine following an outbreak of coronavirus
In Brief

Coronavirus impact on sport: ‘serious concerns’ for Olympics

How the UK plans to end the lockdown
Boris Johnson speaks during a virtual press conference at No.10
The latest on . . .

How the UK plans to end the lockdown

Popular articles

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 20 Jan 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 20 Jan 2021

Tried and tasted: restaurant meal kits to eat at home
Santo Remedio
On the menu

Tried and tasted: restaurant meal kits to eat at home

Who are the richest people in the world?
Elon Musk
In Focus

Who are the richest people in the world?

Free 6 issue trial then continue to