Ever since this pandemic started, there was a long debate on how coronavirus spreads. One leading concern during this pandemic period was whether pregnant women can spread coronavirus to new-born babies or not.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued special guidance for pregnant women saying that they may be at a higher risk of severe complications during this coronavirus pandemic.
Although there were mixed views from medical experts on this subject matter. But one latest research finds that these women can definitely transmit their babies. Previously, the scientists were able to identify coronavirus and its antibodies in the breast milk, vagina, and placenta of some infected mothers. Some of them even had it in their umbilical cords, suggesting that this virus may be transmitted to the babies too.
These results are based on two newborn babies which were examined by researchers in Italy. Both of them were diagnosed with the virus however, they recovered from it and are now healthy.
One baby reported positive at the time of the birth was later on the reported negative, after 2 days of the birth. One assumption says that this baby was probably making antibodies against the virus when he was in the womb, according to Claudio Fenizia, from the University of Milan, who happens to be the principal investigator of this study.
In one of her interviews, Fenizia shared that another trial including 31 pregnant women is in the proceeding, and extracting a conclusion right now is untimely. She says that the explanation requires the presence of certain factors that are necessary to consider. However, this current study doesn’t explain them; it is more of an overview than a detailed analysis.
The purpose of this study, as to her was to draw attention to a largely ignored area that this type of viral transmission is 100% possible. But the explanation on how and why it takes place needs more detailed analysis.
The complete details of this present study is not available. There is only an abstract available right now. Before this study, there was another small study in China that produced similar results.
Diana W. Bianchi from Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development says that these results are somehow inconclusive. There is no way to tell if it is true for all coronavirus infected mothers that they will transmit coronavirus to new-born babies or not.
In some cases, when the baby was diagnosed positive, there is no information if the baby was contaminated at the time of sampling or not. Because there are chances that his body will be covered with the infected mother’s body fluids. It doesn’t matter if it was a normal vaginal delivery or a Caesarean section, the chances of contamination in both types of births are high.
Fenizia also shared that these results are important because they tell that this coronavirus pandemic is extremely risky for pregnant women. They need high medical care especially if there is some unexplained inflammation. This inflammation is considered to be typically associated with coronavirus even in cases where no other symptoms show up.
Right now there are no as such treatments designed for pregnant women that are coronavirus positive and may spread the coronavirus to new-born babies. But prevention, in all means, is the best thing to follow.