Kali Cook, of Bacliff, near Houston, had only just started showing signs of infection and had a fever early Tuesday morning, her mother Karra Harwood said.
But just hours later the young girl died in her sleep.
Harwood had been diagnosed with Covid-19 the previous day along with her fiancé William Tucker.
Kali had just started pre-kindergarten at K.E. Little Elementary School, she is not believed to have come into contact with anyone with the virus there.
‘I came home and was isolated,’ Harwood told the Galveston County Daily News.
‘I tried to stay away from her and didn’t want her and my other kids to get it.’
Harwood was not vaccinated against Covid-19.
Kali Cook, 4, became the youngest person in Texas’ Galveston County to die of the coronavirus on Tuesday
Cool likely contracted the virus from her mother, who tested positive for Covid-19 the day prior
While Cook never tested positive while she was alive, the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed she was carrying the virus after an examination, and determined her death was due to Covid-19.
Cook is the only person under 20 in Galveston County to die from the coronavirus.
The virus has killed 465 residents in the county of 342,000, amid 50,000 cases since it first emerged last year, according to local health statistics.
‘This is a terrible thing, but I think people need to know about it,’ Galveston health official Philip Keiser said.
He noted that while children often do not suffer serious symptoms from infection, parents should seek medical attention immediately.
Cook died within hours of first showing signs of infection, and an autopsy is scheduled for Friday to determine the exact cause of death
‘It’s very important, if your kids are sick, not to say, “Oh, they’re going to be OK,”‘ Keiser told the Daily News. ‘If your kids are sick, go seek out medical care.’
Galveston’s vaccination rate is around 50 percent, which is roughly in line with the rate for the entire Lone Star State.
Both the county and state have seen an explosion of new infections in recent weeks since the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant, with its health services department recording 6,087 new cases on Tuesday, up from a low of 360 on June 5.
In Galveston, there were 72 new cases recorded Tuesday, up from a low of three on June 9.
Cook’s death came as Galveston and the overall Lone Star State has seen an explosion of Covid-19 cases in recent weeks after the emergence of the contagious Delta variant
Children in Galveston have been particularly hard hit amid the spread of the Delta variant, with nearly 30 percent of all child cases under 12 occurring in August, the local health district reported.
Harwood said she first noticed her daughter had come down with an infection at around 2am Tuesday, and by 7am, she was dead.
‘She died in her sleep,’ Harwood said.
Because of how suddenly she died after first coming down with virus symptoms, she is due to undergo an autopsy Friday to determine a final cause of death.
‘From our point of view, for a 4-year-old to die so quickly from COVID is unusual,’ Kaiser said.
‘If she were in the hospital, we’d know a lot more,”
‘Kali was perfectly fine, and then she was gone,’ Harwood told the Houston Chronicle.
Cook was known to be funny, and loved the outdoors her mother said
She said her daughter did not have any underlying conditions, but did tend to get sicker than her other siblings.
Keiser said contract tracing performed by the county health district determined that Cook had not come into contact with others who tested positive for the virus except her close family.
Harwood described her daughter as ‘funny and sassy,’ telling the Daily News, ‘She wasn’t your average little girl. She’d rather play with worms and frogs than wear bows. She was just so pretty and full of life.’
Harwood set up a Gofundme to help pay for funeral expenses, saying that her family was still out of work due to contracting Covid-19.
‘Her heart was too pure for this cruel world and God decided he needed another beautiful angel on his side,’ she wrote.
As of Tuesday, the campaign had raised more than $20,000.