What Is the Risk of Mother-to-Baby Transmission of Coronavirus?

March 30, 2020

Can mothers give their babies coronavirus during pregnancy?

When the coronavirus pandemic began, data reported that infants born to mothers with COVID-19 did not contract the virus, reported Good Morning America.

Three new reports released in The Journal of the American Medical Association now say that these possibilities “cannot be ruled out.” The new evidence suggests coronavirus transmission from mother to baby may be possible in the womb.

Vertical transmission, or the spread of the virus from mother to child, was unlikely from COVID-19 reports as well as data from the outbreaks of SARS and MERS.

Data has been released on 19 infants born to mothers with coronavirus. All of these newborns tested negative for the virus. However, a study that was done in Wuhan’s Children’s Hospital did research on 33 babies born to mothers with COVID-19 pneumonia. The research found that three of these infants contracted the virus.

Doctors reported that the virus did not infect the newborns during or after the birth. They suggest it likely came from their mother when the babies were still in the womb.

All of the babies who had the virus pulled through. Two infants, who were born full-term via C-section, developed “fever, lethargy, and pneumonia on chest radiographs.”

The third infant needed more intensive care but was also premature. The infant had sepsis or a blood infection caused by bacteria. Fortunately, respiratory support and antibiotics led to recovery.

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