Family Urges People To Still Take Coronavirus Seriously After 8-Year-Old's Death

by Casey Suglia

As businesses across the nation begin to reopen and more stay-at-home orders are being lifted, one North Carolina family is urging people to still take coronavirus seriously after their young daughter died due to complications from COVID-19.

Aurea Soto Morales, an 8-year-old girl who was better known as "Yoshi" to her friends, died on Monday after feeling sick a week earlier, according to FOX 8. The second-grader had been tested for coronavirus, had a seizure, and was rushed to the hospital. (Her father, mother, and sister also contracted COVID-19, according to the family's GoFundMe page.)

WRAL News reported that Aurea experienced swelling in her brain, causing her to fall into a coma. She died from complications related to the coronavirus on June 1. It is unclear if Aurea had multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, or MISC-C, a condition that causes different parts of the body become inflamed after contracting or coming in contact with someone who's been infected with COVID-19.

In the wake of Aurea's death, her family is urging people — especially parents of young children — to still take coronavirus seriously. "Everyone associates it with old people, as they think they're the only ones who are going to get it, but that's not true," Aurea's sister, Jennifer Morales, told FOX 8. "My sister got it."

There have been over 31,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in North Carolina, but kids under the age of 17 only account for 7% of the cases in the state. Aurea is the first child to die from COVID-19 in North Carolina, according to the News & Observer. There have been more than 1.8 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

North Carolina is currently in Phase 2 of reopening, with bars and gyms reopening in the near future. But Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading expert in infectious disease, has warned that states re-opening too soon could "turn the clock back," according to CBS News. On Thursday, CDC director Robert Redfield said that he was "very concerned" that people are not following the CDC's advice when it comes to the coronavirus.

Children who test positive for COVID-19 can experience a wide range of flu-like symptoms, including fever, shortness of breath, and a cough. Not everyone will experience the same COVID-19 symptoms, which is why the CDC has urged parents keep a close eye on their children for any signs of illness.

Aurea's sister Jennifer told FOX 8 that she hopes people do everything they can to protect themselves and others from coronavirus, like wearing a mask and staying home if you feel sick. "Every little thing they do may save lives," she told the news outlet. "We don't want parents to suffer from what we are going through."

You can donate directly to Aurea's family on their GoFundMe page to help cover medical expenses and funeral arrangements for Aurea. So far, people have raised $37,000 for the family.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.