Aurea Soto Morales, better known as “Yoshi" was a second grade student at Creekside Elementary in Durham, North Carolina.

By Eric Todisco
June 04, 2020
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An eight-year-old girl from Durham, North Carolina, has died following complications from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Aurea Soto Morales, better known as “Yoshi," died on Monday at UNC hospital after she tested positive for COVID-19 last week, her sister Jennifer Morales told local news outlet WNCN.

Jennifer, who also tested positive for the virus, said that she and Yoshi, a second grader at Creekside Elementary, both began feeling ill early last week.

“My sister and I started to get the COVID-19 symptoms,” said Jennifer.

Jennifer said that her and Yoshi learned they had COVID-19 later in the week — just days after their parents also tested positive for the virus.

On Friday, Yoshi had a seizure and was rushed to the hospital. The next day, "her brain started to swell up and she went into a coma," before she ultimately died Monday, Jennifer said.

Now, the family wants others to take the novel coronavirus — which has infected over 1.8 million people in the United States — much more 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,” Jennifer said. “My sister got it.”

Jennifer said she and her loved ones are asking others to continue wearing masks — which has been recommended by the CDC to help stop the spread — and stay home if you are feeling sick. The family also wants businesses to wipe down surfaces and to limit the number of people who are allowed inside at a time.

“Every little thing they do may save lives,” Jennifer said. “We don’t want other parents to suffer from what we are going through.”

A GoFundMe page was created by the Soto Morales family on Tuesday to help cover medical expenses and funeral arrangements for Yoshi. As of Thursday afternoon, the page has raised over $28,000.

North Carolina has at least 31,000 cases of coronavirus and 971 deaths as of Thursday afternoon, according to the New York Times.

The information in this story is accurate as of press time. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it's possible that some data have changed since publication. While Health is trying to keep our stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations for their own communities by using the CDCWHO, and their local public health department as resources.

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