California Teen Dies Suddenly After Symptoms of COVID-19

July 21, 2020

    A Claremont teen died suddenly after weeks of suffering from symptoms related to COVID-19.

    Maxx Cheng, 13, began feeling badly on July 4. His family took him for a coronavirus test, but he tested negative, they told CBS Los Angeles.

    “His symptoms matched, but then the test came out negative,” Charlotte Cheng, his sister, told CBS. “So we were a little bit confused.”

    Cheng's family opted to isolate him because of his symptoms, but at some point, they went to check on him and found him unconscious.

    He wasn’t answering. We found him passed out in the room," his sister said.

    In the days leading to his death, his symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and chest pains seemed to have subsided.

    According to his family, Maxx experienced "nausea, vomiting, chest pains," but his symptoms had seemed to improve in the days leading up to his death. His sister said he had no cough and his fever had gone down.

    A coroner is investing Cheng's death to see if it was the result of the coronavirus. A report will be done in a few days.

    A GoFundMe page has been set up by his community to help with funeral costs, and a college fund for his twin brother, Leo.

    "Maxx Cheng was one of Claremont's finest young men who was recently lost during this pandemic," the fundraiser reads. "Maxx was athletic, intelligent, funny, and mature and was voted Class President of Chaparral Elementary before heading off to El Roble. He played the viola with El Roble’s orchestra, was part of El Roble's Speech and Debate team and competed in swimming (photo here at his recent competition)."

    A family friend told ABC, "It's very, very shocking, saddening, paralyzing," said Nicole Weinstein, a family friend told ABC. "The minute I heard, it was like a huge bright light had been extinguished. He had so much charisma, so much positive energy. He was class president last year."

    Los Angeles County officials have identified 15 kids in the city with a serious illness inflammatory syndrome believed to be linked to the novel coronavirus.

    The syndrome has also been called Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome, or PIMS and the average age of the kids in L.A. is 8 years old.

    The possibly deadly syndrome is predominantly seen in Latino children (73%); equally about 70% of the cases nationwide have been either Latino or Black patients.

    As schools debate over how to reopen in the fall, a new study has shown that older children can spread the coronavirus just as much as adults can.

    The new study from South Korea suggests that children younger than 10 years old transmit the disease to other much less than adults do. However, that means those between the ages of 10 and 19 pose a serious risk, the New York Times reports.

    Children under 10 being less likely to spread the virus is consistent with other studies, which could be explained by their height and where they breathe and exhale physically.

    Should schools reopen normally, the study suggests there will be consequences in terms of how the virus is transmitted amongst the age group and consequently, to their families.

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