Monday, April 6, 2020

Are pregnant women passing COVID-19 on to bubs?

Pregnant women may need to be extra vigilant with social distancing and hygiene measures during the current COVID-19 pandemic as research suggests there may be a risk of transmitting the virus to newborns.

Recent research published in JAMA Paediatrics suggests that pregnant women with COVID-19 may be passing the virus to their babies.

The cohort study looked at 33 babies born to mothers with COVID-19 from Wuhan Children’s Hospital in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Of the 33 babies included in the study, three tested positive for COVID-19 after birth with researchers suggesting that these babies are likely to have contracted the disease from their mothers as strict infection control and prevention procedures were followed during delivery.

However, researchers note that despite samples, including amniotic fluid, cord blood and breast milk being negative for COVID-19 “the vertical maternal-foetal transmission cannot be ruled out in the current cohort”.

Moreover, they state that two other recent studies have found no evidence of COVID-19 transmission from mother to baby this way.

The researchers conclude that “it is crucial to screen pregnant women and implement strict infection control measures; to quarantine infected mothers, and to closely monitor babies at risk of COVID-19”.

To read the study, visit: jamanetwork.com.

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