'Worst nightmare': Boy, 5, dies of Covid as US cases almost triple

·3-min read

A family is mourning the loss of a five-year-old boy who died of Covid-19 amid rising cases largely due to the Delta variant in the US.

The family of Wyatt Gibson, 5, thought he had food poisoning when he had no appetite, was vomiting and was a little lethargic.

"He’d barely had more than the sniffle or two as prior illnesses go," his grandmother Andrea Mitchell said in a statement according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Pictured is Wyatt Gibson on the left with a horse and on the right, a close up shot of the five year old.
Wyatt Gibson, 5, died of Covid-19 on July 16. Source: Facebook/GoFundMe

His grandmother said the boy then developed a white tongue and was rushed to hospital. 

Wyatt, from the US state of Georgia, was confirmed to have Covid-19 and strep and staph infections and on July 16, the healthy child with no underlying health conditions died of a "massive stroke".

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wyatt's father, Wes Gilbert, and his infant sister, Alyssa, also tested positive for Covid-19.

Dad's tragic tribute to boy

On Facebook, Mr Gilbert described his son as his "best friend" and "little helper".

"Wyatt was nothing joy and happiness," he wrote. 

"We loved having fun and going on adventures together. He loved his momma and his sister so very much, and he was always looking for ways to help."

He said Wyatt enjoyed playing outside, horses and building things and he would always wave at people at the grocery store, knowing it would make their day.

“He brought love and joy to everybody he ever met,” his mother Alexis Gibson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

“I don’t know how I will be able to go anywhere anymore because everybody knew Wyatt.”

Pictured is five-year-old Wyatt Gibson, playing outside.
Wyatt Gibson's family thought he had food poisoning before rushing him to hospital. Source: Facebook

A GoFundMe has been set up to raise money for the Gibson family, and $36,955 (A$50,040) has been raised so far.

"I am raising money for the Gibson family, to help with medical bills, funeral costs, and to just get through the worst nightmare of any parent," Amanda Summey said on behalf of the family. 

"They lost their five-year-old son to Covid."

Covid cases surge in the US

In the US, Covid-19 cases in the last two weeks have nearly tripled.

White House officials said on Thursday hospitals are running out of space because of the Delta variant, which is “spreading with incredible efficiency".

The seven-day rolling average for daily new cases rose over the past two weeks to more than 37,000 on Tuesday, up from less than 13,700 on July 6, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Health officials blame the Delta variant and slowing vaccination rates.

“Our staff, they are frustrated,” said Chad Neilsen, director of infection prevention at UF Health Jacksonville in Florida.

“They are tired. They are thinking this is déjà vu all over again, and there is some anger because we know that this is a largely preventable situation, and people are not taking advantage of the vaccine.”

People in cars wait at a COVID-19 testing and vaccination site at Barnett Park.
Covid-19 cases in the US have tripled in recent weeks, due to the spread of the delta variant. Source: SOPA Images/Sipa USA

The Delta variant, which originated in India, now accounts for an estimated 83 per cent of coronavirus samples genetically identified in the US.

Dr Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said the variant was “one of the most infectious respiratory viruses we know of”.

“We are yet at another pivotal moment in this pandemic,” she warned. 

“We need to come together as one nation.”

The US has had over 34 million Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic and still has more deaths than any other country with over 610,000, Johns Hopkins data shows.

with AP

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