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Study Shows Pregnant Women Can Infect Newborns With Coronavirus

by | April 2, 2020

A new study has shown that pregnant women can pass coronavirus onto their newborns.

Released by JAMA Pediatrics, the study was conducted in Wuhan, China — where the novel coronavirus is believed to have first infected humans. Researchers found that three of 33 pregnant women who tested positive for the virus also passed it on to their babies, who exhibited symptoms such as shortness of breath.

Patient 1, who was born at forty weeks, was delivered by c-section, and presented with a fever on the following day. After being transferred to a neonatal intensive unit, the baby tested positive on days two and four, however, returned a negative test when six days old. Patient 2 showed similar test results.

It is still unclear whether the virus was contracted in the womb, or passed from mother to baby at the time of birth.

All three have since recovered from the virus.

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woman in maternal unit with babies. coronavirus
All three babies recovered from the virus (ChameleonsEye/shutterstock.com)

Pregnancy & Coronavirus Screening

According to the study, screening will be an essential part of protecting newborns at risk moving forward.

“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,” researchers wrote.

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