The Ministry of Health (MOH) has been alerted that a one-and-a-half year-old male Singaporean who had COVID-19 infection has passed away on 27 June 2022. The cause of death was Encephalitis due to COVID-19, Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Enterovirus infections. This is Singapore’s first death caused by COVID in a patient aged below 12 years old.
2. The patient had no other past medical history and was previously well. He presented at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) Children’s Emergency Department on the night of 21 June 2022 with high fever and recurrent seizures, with a subsequent drop in consciousness. He was admitted to the Children’s Intensive Care Unit in critical condition on 22 June 2022, and was diagnosed with severe Meningoencephalitis. The polymerase chain reaction test for the patient was positive for COVID-19 as well as two other viruses – Rhinovirus/Enterovirus and Respiratory Syncytial Virus.
3. COVID-19 can result in severe disease, even in children and those without pre-existing medical conditions. Vaccination substantially reduces the likelihood of severe disease when one is infected. All children aged 5 to 11 years are recommended to be vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine, especially children with underlying chronic medical conditions. MOH, the Health Sciences Authority and the Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination will study the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines that have been formulated for young children under the age of 5 once the dossier is submitted to us for evaluation by the manufacturers.
4. MOH extends our deepest condolences to the patient’s family. We understand that KKH is in contact with the family to provide the necessary support.