There have been reports of a new born baby testing positive for the novel coronavirus in China.
Prof Paul Hunter, Professor in Medicine, University of East Anglia (UEA), said:
“As far as I am aware there is currently no evidence that the novel coronavirus can be transmitted in the womb. When a baby is born vaginally it is exposed to the mother’s gut microbiome, therefore if a baby does get infected with coronavirus a few days after birth we currently cannot tell if the baby was infected in the womb or during birth.
“There have been reports of MERS and SARS CoV in pregnant women in the literature and pregnancy does appear to be a risk factor for more severe disease but not necessarily of transmission in the womb. One study found that ‘SARS during pregnancy is associated with high incidences of spontaneous miscarriage, preterm delivery, and intrauterine growth restriction. There is no evidence of perinatal SARS infection among infants born to these mothers’1. This foetal loss may be more to do with the severe illness in the mother than a direct result of infection on the foetus.”
1. Wong et al. Pregnancy and perinatal outcomes of women with severe acute respiratory syndrome. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 191(1):292-7, 2004.
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