Amid the fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has currently infected over 5 lakh people worldwide, researchers have found that three newborns with coronavirus may have got the disease from their mother during pregnancy or childbirth in China.
According to the study, published in the journal JAMA, with the sharp increase in the number of infections, the number of pregnant women and children with COVID-19 is also on the rise. “However, only 19 infants born to affected mothers have been investigated, and to our knowledge, no information on early-onset infection in newborns has been published in previous studies,” said study researchers from Wuhan Children’s Hospital in China.
For the findings, the research team examined the medical records of 33 newborns born to women with COVID-19 and found that three of them tested positive for the virus.
The study revealed that the most common symptom is shortness of breath. According to the researchers, all three infants were delivered by caesarean section and there were no deaths.
The researchers said that because strict infection and prevention controls were implemented during delivery, they could rule out that the babies were infected via vertical maternal-foetal transmission. This can include transmission before birth, the weeks immediately prior to or after birth, the study said.
“It is crucial to screen pregnant women and implement strict infection control measures, quarantine of infected mothers, and close monitoring of neonates at risk of COVID-19,” the researchers concluded.