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S. Korea reports first COVID-19 fetal death

Nov. 24, 2021 - 16:45 By Shin Ji-hye
A Korean woman had a stillbirth after being confirmed with COVID-19 and the deceased fetus tested positive, officials said Wednesday.

It is the first COVID-19 death in Korea in a child under the age of 19.

“The route of infection has not been confirmed,” authorities said. “It was a stillbirth case before birth registration, so we decided to separate it from the confirmed cases.”

The mother’s gestation period was 24 weeks and she was not vaccinated against COVID-19. The fetus was found to have died on Monday, four days after the mother tested positive.

The case is the first known stillbirth caused by coronavirus in Korea, but the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier said that the risk of stillbirth more than doubles in women who have COVID-19.

Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said COVID-19 vaccinations for infants and toddlers under 5 might be approved next spring.

The cumulative number of deaths in Korea is 3,363, with 1,697 in their 80s or older, 900 in their 70s, 484 in their 60s, 196 in their 50s, 48 in their 40s, 25 in their 30s, and 12 in their 20s.

Currently, among adolescents and infants under the age of 19, two patients are severely ill. The patients aged 0-9 and 10-19 -- whose ages are not disclosed -- are receiving treatment in intensive care units.

In Korea, vaccinations have begun for children aged 12 or older, but the rate of uptake is slow due to concerns about side effects.

As of Monday midnight, the first inoculation rate between 12 and 17 is 40.9 percent, and 15.4 percent are fully vaccinated. Authorities are considering applying “vaccine passes” to study rooms and karaoke rooms.