A Texas Woman in Her 30s Died of COVID-19 While on a Flight

Woman Dies COVID Plane

Getty Passengers wait to disembark the plane on their arrival at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, on April 23, 2020.

On October 18, officials revealed that a Texas woman in her 30s died of COVID-19 on a flight to Texas. While her death was reported by Dallas County on Sunday as a coronavirus death, the incident itself occurred in late July. According to WFAA, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said the county had just been made aware of the case “a day or two ago.”

The flight was initially reported as being from Arizona to Texas but officials later confirmed that the flight was heading from Las Vegas to Dallas-Fort Worth, Fox News reported. The outlet stated that Spirit Airlines flight 208 on July 24 was en route to Dallas when flight crew found the unresponsive female passenger. The flight was diverted to Albuquerque, New Mexico, but upon landing emergency services pronounced the Garland, Texas, woman dead on arrival.

Jenkins told WFAA that further details about the passenger’s identity would not be revealed for privacy reasons and added that officials aren’t sure if the woman knew she was sick.

The Woman, Who Had Underlying Health Conditions, Died in New Mexico, Not Arizona as Previously Reported

Dallas County reported that the woman, who was in her 30s, had underlying health conditions. She was “ill and having trouble breathing” and was given oxygen, Jenkins said, according to NBC DFW. Officials don’t yet know if the woman knew she had COVID-19.

“[This is a] reminder that there is no age restriction in COVID,” the judge added, according to WFAA. “I would strongly encourage people to not think they’re invincible from COVID because they don’t think they’re in a high-risk category.”

Dallas County was only able to add the July death to its coronavirus statistics now because they didn’t initially know the cause of death. WFAA reported that the county was informed in August that a Texas resident from Dallas County died on an interstate flight, but the determination that the cause of death was COVID-19 was only shared this week, Jenkins said.

Recent CDC Studies Show That COVID-19 Rates Are Now Higher Among Young People Than at the Start of the Pandemic, as the U.S. Enters a ‘Third Wave’ of Cases

The CDC recently reported that there are now more young people than older adults contracting COVID-19, marking a shift from the start of the pandemic. A CDC report stated that between June and August 2020, COVID-19 cases were highest in adults ages 20 to 29, who made up more than 20% of confirmed cases.

Another CDC study indicated that 1 in 5 adults ages 18 to 34 who had contracted COVID-19 and shown symptoms were still feeling the effects of the virus two to three weeks later. “COVID-19 can result in prolonged illness, even among young adults without underlying chronic medical conditions,” the report concluded.

With the colder fall weather hitting the U.S., a rise in coronavirus cases is also sweeping the country, something experts have issued warnings about for months. An associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Justin Lessler, told CNBC: “Our worry has been that we would see a fall wave, that we’d see a big resurgence in the fall. And that has really been something I think all of us in the public health community have been worried about for a while.”

The outlet reported that as of Friday, October 16, coronavirus cases were going up by 5% or more in 38 states, with an average of 55,000 new cases a day. That average is 16% higher than the previous week, CNBC wrote. The uptick in cases is matched with increased hospitalizations in some states, the outlet wrote.

North Dakota officials said they’re concerned that hospitals will be overwhelmed, and some residents from rural parts of the state have traveled hours to hospitals in Montana or South Dakota because there was no room in the hospital in the state’s capital. One official with Sanford Health, which runs hospitals in both North Dakota and South Dakota, told CNBC:

What we’re seeing as the hospitalizations of Covid increase in direct correlation to the number of cases increasing in our communities, we’re also seeing sicker patients that have delayed care in March and April that are now coming in with problems. They require more intense care, longer hospital stays, so that all compounds.

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