A baby under the age of one has died from COVID-19 in Louisiana.
This is the first time in six months that state has recorded a pediatric death from the virus and the 11th overall since the pandemic began.
The reported death comes a day after the Bayou State reported a record-high 139 deaths on Tuesday.
Louisiana, like many other states, has suffered a surge of COVID-19 cases fueled by the Indian ‘Delta’ variant.
Details about the baby, including name, age, sex, hometown and where he or she died, are currently unknown.
A baby under the age of one died in Louisiana on Wednesday, the first pediatric COVID-19 death in six months. Pictured: Stamford Elementary school teacher Luciana Lira, 42, holds baby Neysel, then two weeks, to show his mother Zully, a Guatemalan asylum seeker, and her son Junior, 7, via Zoom in Connecticut, April 2020
Louisiana experienced its largest case surge since the pandemic began this summer. On August 13, the new daily case average reached 5,839, a new record. The state also recorded a record 361 deaths on Tuesday
The baby is among 361 Louisianans who have died in the past week, the most the state has recorded in a seven day span since the pandemic’s first wave.
Deaths in the state have increased by 55 percent over the past two weeks, from an average of 38 per day on August 10 to 59 per day on August 24.
Louisiana spent much of spring and early summer averaging single-digit deaths, with the recent surge proving to be a setback in the state’s efforts to end the pandemic.
New cases are beginning to slow in the state after reaching their peak two weeks ago.
After hitting a record 5,839 new cases on August 13, Louisiana has since been reporting an average of 4,683 new infections, a 20 percent decrease over 11 days.
Deaths usually lag behind cases by around two weeks, so it standard for a record death count to be set after a record case count.
The recent outbreak has caused hospitals to fill, and left many physicians overworked and traumatized with the amount of death taking place in the state.
Melinda Hunt, a registered nurse at Willis-Knighton Medical Center in Shreveport, is working six or seven days a week, waking up before dawn.
Her eyes filled with tears as she drove to work on a rainy morning alongside an Associated Press reporter.
Hunt, 24, decided to become a nurse when she was 6 and she watched the compassionate and skilled professionals help her younger sister who had leukemia
Hunt used to be upbeat and peppy. But now she feels exhausted and drained.
Co-workers have noticed the change and sometimes ask her if she is OK or if she needs a break.
‘I don’t feel like I can take a break because we already don’t have nurses,’ she said.
By the time Hunt gets to the Infectious Disease Critical Care Unit around 6.30am, she pushes away the tears and the exhaustion.
There are COVID-19 patients who need her honesty and compassion.
‘These patients ask me, ‘Am I going to die?’ And I don’t want to tell anybody they’re going to die,’ Hunt said.
‘But I’m not going to give them false reassurance either.’
Around 120 of the 138 patients currently at the hospital with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, a trend across the state where unvaccinated pockets are being hammered by the virus.
Louisiana is among nine states where less than half of the population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, at only 48 percent.
Only 40 percent of the state is fully vaccinated.