KEY POINTS

  • A young boy's case marks Hawaii's first pediatric COVID-19 death
  • He was reportedly traveling with his fully vaccinated parents
  • Children often have no or mild COVID-19 symptoms but may die in "rare" cases

A young boy died from COVID-19 while on vacation with his family in Hawaii, the state's Department of Health (DOH) announced Tuesday.

The young boy was from 0 to 10 years old, the DOH said in a statement, noting that he had "known underlying health conditions." Coming from a different state, the child reportedly experienced symptoms soon after arriving in Hawaii. He was brought to the hospital where he eventually passed away.

"Both parents tested negative before traveling to Hawaii and both were fully vaccinated. This leads us to believe the child was infected by someone other than the parents," a DOH spokesperson told KITV4. "It is a reminder of how important it is for us to protect one another by wearing masks, practice physical distancing and getting vaccinated."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had previously advised both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers to keep wearing masks, wash their hands, avoid crowds and practice social distancing.

The child's case is now among the over 480 COVID-related deaths in Hawaii and the state's first pediatric COVID-19 death.

"While we mourn all victims of COVID-19, today's announcement of the death of a child from this virus is especially heartbreaking. Dawn and I express our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of this child," Hawaii Gov. David Ige said in a statement. "The state and counties will continue to make responsible decisions on COVID restrictions based on science, with the goal of protecting the health and safety of the people of Hawaii."

As of Tuesday, the state has logged a total of 32,110 COVID-19 cases.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), as of April 22, more than 3.71 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. That means they comprise 13.7% of COVID-19 cases.

While most children who get COVID-19 experience mild or no symptoms at all, some can still get sick and even hospitalized, the CDC said, noting that they can die in "rare cases." It is also worth noting that certain conditions may put some children at a higher risk of getting a severe illness from COVID-19. These include asthma, diabetes, sickle cell disease, obesity and heart disease since birth.

Hawaii building beach Sunbathers are pictured at Waikiki Beach, Hawaii on the Island of Oahu Photo: Getty Images/Julie Thurston Photography