Transmission of the coronavirus – that causes the Covid-19 disease – from mother to child during pregnancy is possible but rare, suggests a new study by Chinese scientists.
The Chinese team studied 33 pregnant women in the city of Wuhan, where the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was detected in December, and found that only three babies were born with Covid-19.
The results of the study, released this Thursday in the scientific journal JAMA Pediatrics, contradict conclusions of previous studies that pointed out that the new coronavirus was non-transmissible from mother to child during pregnancy.
“Since strict infection control and prevention procedures were adopted during delivery, strains of SARS-CoV-2 [detected] in the upper respiratory tract [including nose, pharynx, larynx and trachea] of newborns are likely to be of maternal origin,” say the scientists in the study released today.
The three babies, who recovered from Covid-19, are all boys and were born by caesarean section, since the mothers had pneumonia due to the coronavirus. One of the babies was born premature, at 31 weeks of gestation, and had to be resuscitated. He suffered from pneumonia, septicemia and breathing difficulties.
The newborn was cured of Covid-19 thanks to intensive care treatments, which included ventilation, antibiotics and caffeine. After seven days, the tests were negative. The other two babies had a fever, one of them also had pneumonia. Both were in intensive care and the tests were negative after six days of life.
Chinese experts had previously reported a case of transmission of Covid-19 from mother to child during pregnancy, after the presence of coronavirus in the baby was confirmed 30 hours after birth. “It is crucial to test all pregnant women and apply strict measures to control infection, quarantine pregnant women and monitor newborns”, defends the new study published today.