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Covid-19 foetal transmission: what the studies say

Transmissão de Covid-19 ao feto

The birth of some babies infected with Covid-19 has prompted research into mother-to-fetus transmission during pregnancy. Find out what the scientific community says about the issue with Baby on Board.

Much has been said about Covid-19 since the pandemic struck the world and pregnant women or new mothers are among the groups most interested in this issue, as they wish, amid the crisis we are experiencing, to ensure the safety of their babies.

Aware that the experience of pregnant women during Covid-19 may entail greater anxiety and following events in an attempt to understand the impact of the disease on children or what its relationship to the Kawasaki Syndrome.

As we know, the virus that worries the world was, at the beginning of the pandemic, almost completely unknown and the scientific community itself claimed that what little was known about this disease was precisely what made it so lethal, as we were far from devising an effective treatment.

Slowly and slowly, more has been known about the virus and recently, the emergence of Covid-19 cases detected in freshly born babies has also been motivating the emergence of new scientific evidence. 

Learn more about this topic.

Cases of babies born with Covid-19

The first baby to be officially diagnosed with Covid-19 at birth emerged in March in Paris. This baby reportedly contracted the disease from its mother and while still in the womb, the mother having been infected in her last trimester of pregnancy. Both mother and child reportedly recovered within three weeks, with the mother being discharged six days after the birth. (1)

Since then other cases of babies born with the disease have been reported around the world, including in Texas (USA) and now also in Lisbon (Portugal). (2)

The Portuguese case is among the most recent, with the first baby to be born with the disease having been delivered prematurely, at 34 weeks. The baby was born with severe respiratory problems and pneumonia, requiring hospitalisation and ventilation. She is still in intensive care. (3)

Studies on Covid-19 at birth

Babies born with Covid-19, notably in Paris and Texas, have prompted scientific studies around the question of transmission between an infected mother and fetus.

The evidence found internationally, and supported now by national experts, is that there can be transmission from a pregnant woman to her fetus, in what is called “in utero congenital vertical transmission”. (4)

Babies born with this disease mainly present with problems in the respiratory system or even breathing difficulties, and although recovery has been positive in foreign cases, it is not yet possible to know the long-term effects that the problem may manifest in the life of the infected person throughout their life.

Did you know about these cases of Covid-19 in newborns? What is your opinion on this issue? Share with the rest of the Baby on Board readers.

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