DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The Durham community is mourning the loss of an 8-year-old girl after she died from complications related to COVID-19.
Aurea Soto Morales, better known as “Yoshi,” died Monday at UNC hospital.
The second grader at Creekside Elementary began feeling ill last week.
“My sister and I started to get the COVID-19 symptoms,” said Jennifer Morales, the girl’s sister.
Morales said their parents had tested positive for the virus early last week. At the end of the week, both Morales and Yoshi also tested positive for COVID-19.
On Friday, Yoshi had a seizure and was rushed to the hospital.
“On Saturday, her brain started to swell up and she went into a coma,” Morales said.
On Monday, her family said Yoshi died from complications of the virus.
The girl’s family said they want everyone to take the virus more seriously.
“Everyone associates it with old people, as they think they’re the only ones who are going to get it, but that’s not true,” Morales said. “My sister got it.”
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the child’s death Friday.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to this child’s family,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore. “While most COVID-19 cases in children are not severe, this is a tragic reminder for all of us that COVID-19 can be a serious illness for anyone. We want to encourage people to protect themselves and others by wearing face coverings, waiting at least six feet apart and washing hands often whenever you leave home.”
As of June 5, there are at least 966 COVID-19-associated deaths reported in North Carolina, with 83% of those being in people over 65 years of age.
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Now Aurea’s loved ones hope her story helps others understand that even children are not immune to the coronavirus.
Morales said they are asking everyone to continue to wear masks and to stay home if you are feeling sick. They are also asking businesses to wipe down surfaces and to continue to limit the number of people who inside at a time.
“Every little thing they do may save lives,” Morales said. “We don’t want other parents to suffer from what we are going through.”