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Madison East High School student dies following COVID-related illness

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Madison East High School

UPDATE (WKOW) -- Health experts say this one may be the youngest in Dane County.

The Madison School District confirmed Monday, a Madison East High School junior died over the Thanksgiving holiday.

In a tweet, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi vowed to do everything possible to slow the spread that took the student's life.

East High School principal Brendan Kearney said the student had a "ready smile and great sense of humor."

In an email to students and parents Kearney said that the student "died unexpectedly during the Thanksgiving break after a brief, COVID-related illness."

Principal Kearney said that the student was "An excellent student who enjoyed theatre and had talked of becoming a chef and owning his own business."

Dr Jeff Pothof with UW Health says it was likely the youngest so far in Dane county.

"I'm not sure if we've had other young people sub 20 years old that have actually died from the disease," he said.

An MMSD spokesperson said this was the first student COVID-related death, but they're not aware of how many students have had COVID.

However they did say this students infection was not related to any school related activities.

Dr. Pothof says even without knowing the details of the students health history, this should be a wakeup call for people.

"When we're thinking about the risks or behaviors that we're going to participate in, don't think about the population statistics, realize that if you get COVID-19 it's anybody's best guess as to what's going to happen to you," he said.

Dr. Pothof says while young people tend to be asymptomatic, new research shows that they may be associated with more spread than previously thought.

And they may have strong lingering effects.

"Looking at inflammation of the heart and that lasting a little bit longer," he said. "I've seen that first hand in very young individuals who are having problem with heart failure."

MADISON (WKOW) -- A Madison East High School student has died due to “COVID-related causes,” according a statement from the Madison Metropolitan School District.

"Our community has lost a wonderful young person, and when a school family experiences a tragedy, especially the loss of a young life, it deeply impacts all of us," read a statement from the school district.

"In the days ahead, MMSD will be focused on providing our students, families and staff the support needed in order to help them process this tremendous loss."

In a Tweet Monday morning, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi also sent his support to the student's family and friends.

"We're heartbroken by news of Isai's passing. We send our love and support to his family and friends, and vow to continue doing everything in our power to slow the spread of this terrible virus that so cruelly took his life," Parisi wrote.