February 17, 2024

City Of Chicago Statement on the Medical Examiner's Report on the Death of Jean Carlos Martínez Rivero

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO – The City of Chicago again expresses our deepest condolences to the family of Jean Carlos Martínez Rivero. This is a tragic loss, and we appreciate the work of community partners supporting the Martínez Rivero family during this difficult time.  


The report issued by the Cook County Medical Examiner determined that the cause of death was sepsis, a rare complication due to invasive Streptococcus pyogenes, also known as Group A Strep, that rapidly became fatal. Sepsis can lead to serious complications in as little as 24 hours.


Ambulance services were called immediately when the family reported a medical emergency. Shelter staff performed chest compressions on the child but he tragically died shortly after arriving at the hospital.  


The City of Chicago coordinates medical screenings for all shelter residents, weekly on-site provider support, on-site vaccination events for COVID, varicella, and flu, and partnerships with a network of community health centers for other healthcare needs. All shelter residents are offered comprehensive medical examinations and care.  


The City has prioritized the health and well-being of asylum seekers throughout the New Arrivals Mission in partnership with community healthcare providers and Cook County Health, and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) will continue to monitor and respond to all reportable cases of infectious disease across the City’s temporary shelter system. 




Streptococcus pyogenes is a bacteria that commonly inhabits the respiratory tract and skin, and causes mild illness, such as strep throat. 

In rare instances, Streptococcus bacteria can cause serious illness such as sepsis, which can become rapidly fatal.  While there is no vaccine for GAS, CDPH routinely organizes vaccine events to prevent other infections, such as influenza and varicella, which may predispose an individual with streptococcal infection to progress to more severe disease.