As coronavirus rapidly spreading in every corner of the globe, Chinese researchers have found that newborns infected with COVID-19 in China experienced mild symptoms, and the babies may be at risk of catching the virus from their mother during pregnancy.
For the findings, published in the European Respiratory Journal, researchers studied a total of four cases of newborn babies with COVID-19 infection in China.
In all cases, the babies experienced only mild symptoms with none requiring intensive care or mechanical ventilation.
“COVID-19 is highly contagious and our study suggests that intrauterine transmission cannot be ruled out, but that the prognosis is good for both pregnant women and newborn babies,” said study lead author Zhi-Jiang Zhang from Wuhan University in China.
The research team reported that all four babies were born to mothers with COVID-19 and all were delivered by caesarean section.
Three were separated from their mothers at birth.
The rapid spread of the infection may mean there are other cases of newborns with COVID-19 that they were not able to track down, the researchers said.
“It’s important to protect pregnant women and newborn babies against infection. It’s also important that any cases of COVID-19 in newborns are picked up, monitored and treated quickly and carefully,” said Professor Tobias Welte, is an infections expert from the European Respiratory Society and is a coordinator for the national German COVID-19 task force and was not involved in the study.
“At this stage, we still do not know whether there are any longer-term consequences of infection,” he added.