2-month-old baby dies of COVID-19 at Montreal's Sainte-Justine Hospital

The hospital “wishes to offer its most sincere condolences” to the child’s parents and family, Sainte-Justine Hospital says in a Friday news release.

Serious complications among children remain rare, but can happen, expert says

The Sainte-Justine Hospital in Montreal, Que., announced the death Friday. (Martin Chabot/Radio-Canada)

A two-month old baby has died of COVID-19 at Montreal's Sainte-Justine Hospital.

"The child, healthy at birth, had been recently hospitalized in intensive care due to COVID and died on Dec. 16," the hospital said in a news release Friday.

The release says the hospital will not be providing further information due to it being highly confidential.

The hospital "wishes to offer its most sincere condolences" to the child's parents and family, the release said.

This news comes as Quebec tightens public health measures amid a new surge in COVID-19 cases.

Public health reported 3,768 new cases Friday, eclipsing the previous high set in January, when officials reported 3,127 cases. 

There were seven more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus and 312 people were in hospital with the disease, including 62 in intensive care as of Friday.

There have been reports of children suffering complications from COVID-19 in hard-hit areas of the United States and other parts of the world, but serious illness and death remain rare.

More than seven million children have tested positive for the disease in the U.S. since the onset of the pandemic and "the available data indicate that COVID-19-associated hospitalization and death is uncommon in children," the American Academy of Pediatrics says.

Dr. Alex Carignan, a microbiologist and infectious diseases specialist in the Eastern Townships, said kids are less likely to suffer complications from COVID-19, but it can happen.

"Once in a while, there can be a severe case," he told Radio-Canada.

"We don't have the details of this case, but it can happen and when we look at the Omicron wave, there are some countries who have seen a rise in hospitalizations in children."

This is something medical experts are keeping an eye on here in Quebec, said Carignan.

with files from The Canadian Press