Boy, 5, Dies of Sepsis After Catching Covid and Strep A

Five-year-old Jean Carlos Martinez Rivero went into cardiac arrest at a Chicago migrant shelter and later died

<p>Gofundme</p> Jean Carlos Martinez Rivero.


Jean Carlos Martinez Rivero.
  • Jean Carlos Martinez Rivero, 5, died after being found unresponsive at a Chicago migrant center

  • A coroner's report determined the cause of death to be sepsis, following Strep A and Covid infections

  • Although some criticized the conditions at the shelter, the City of Chicago said in a statement, "All shelter residents are offered comprehensive medical examinations and care"

A five-year-old boy who died in December at a Chicago migrant shelter had developed sepsis after catching Covid and Strep A, a recently released coroner’s report determined.

Jean Carlos Martinez Rivero was found unresponsive at the Pilsen migrant center in Chicago’s Lower West Side, after days of being sick, according to an NBC News Chicago report. He was rushed to the hospital, where he later died.

Martinez was one of several children who were sick at the shelter, the outlet reports, adding that residents as young as age 1 were hospitalized with high fevers.

One mother interviewed by the shelter told NBC that the conditions were “quite alarming.”

However, in a press conference, Chicago mayor Brandon Johnson said the people were “showing up sick.”

<p>Gofundme</p> Jean Carlos Martinez Rivero.


Jean Carlos Martinez Rivero.

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Johnson also blamed southern states for their policies of bussing migrants to northern states, saying, “They are dropping people off anywhere. Do you understand how raggedy and how evil that is?”

The boy’s family arrived in Chicago from Venezuela, and they have another son, 2-year-old Isaías. According to a GoFundMe, Jean Carlos died just two weeks after they arrived at the shelter when, on December 17, he collapsed and according to the 911 call, went into cardiac arrest.

“Jean Carlos survived the treacherous journey from South America to Chicago only to lose his life days later,” the GoFundMe said.

Although often dismissed as just a “sore throat,” the CDC says that Strep A, if left untreated, can lead to Necrotizing Fasciitis (commonly known as the flesh-eating disease), Scarlet Fever (known by its bright rash), and Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (a serious bacterial infection).

Related: 11-Year-Old Boy Dies After He's Found Unconscious at New York City Migrant Shelter: 'Devastating'

“It’s too much for a little body. It really is sad,” Dr. Juanita Mora, an allergist and immunologist, told NBC Chicago, according to Today.

“We have to remember that a 5-year-old has a very small amount of volume when it comes to bodily fluids. So, when an overwhelming infection like Covid-19 hits his body, and at the same time he gets strep throat, it starts going into the blood stream, it starts affecting the rest of the organs.”

<p>Gofundme</p> Jean Carlos Martinez Rivero.


Jean Carlos Martinez Rivero.

A press release issued by the city of Chicago called his sepsis a “rare complication” of Strep A, and added, “The City of Chicago coordinates medical screenings for all shelter residents, weekly on-site provider support, on-site vaccination events for COVID, varicella, and flu, and partnerships with a network of community health centers for other healthcare needs. All shelter residents are offered comprehensive medical examinations and care.”

The statement continued, “The City has prioritized the health and well-being of asylum seekers throughout the New Arrivals Mission in partnership with community healthcare providers and Cook County Health, and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) will continue to monitor and respond to all reportable cases of infectious disease across the City’s temporary shelter system.”

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