VIDEO-Michigan health officials: Baby died from birth defect, not COVID-19

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Autopsy report cites gastroschisis as primary cause of death

According to an autopsy report released Friday, a 2-month-old baby thought to have died from coronavirus actually died of complications from a birth defect.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner said the baby, from the Upper Peninsula, was born with gastroschisis -- a condition where his intestines are located outside the body. The baby tested positive for COVID-19 a few days before his death and hospital staff reported the virus had contributed to his passing.

Sept. 18, 2020: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 115,387; Death toll now at 6,638

The final autopsy report lists gastroschisis as the immediate cause of death.

Officials from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that a 2-month-old baby in Michigan had died from COVID-19.

When reached for a comment, a spokesperson said “We remain unable to provide any additional details about the 2-month-old who was mentioned at the press conference -- and that includes being unable to confirm or deny that any specific baby is the baby that was referenced.”

On Friday, MDHHS released a statement explaining its standards for deaths linked to COVID-19:

"Following national standards, MDHHS considers a death to be a COVID-19-associated death if the death is due to natural causes, there is a positive COVID-19 test, and one of the following is true:

MDHHS relies on the judgment of treating physicians in determining whether a death is associated with COVID-19."

Copyright 2020 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.

About the Authors:

Jason Colthorp

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.

Dane Kelly

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.