Covid-19 Infection Seen Transmitted From Mother to Fetus

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Covid-19 was transmitted from a mother who tested positive for the virus to her fetus during pregnancy, French researchers said.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus appears to have passed through the placenta and infected the woman’s baby before birth, according to a case study by doctors from Paris Saclay University Hospitals that was published Tuesday in Nature Communications. The infant, who showed nervous system symptoms associated Covid-19, and her mother both recovered, the researchers said.

Questions have swirled around how the virus can be transmitted from mother to child, with some studies suggesting it’s most likely to occur immediately before and after a baby’s birth. The virus is normally spread by droplets of fluid expelled from the mouth and nose during when infected people breathe, speak, cough or sneeze.

The French researchers reported on a pregnant woman in her twenties who was admitted to a hospital with fever and a severe cough and tested positive for the coronavirus. Tests confirmed the presence of the virus in the baby three hours after birth.

The virus was found in placental tissue, along with maternal and neonatal blood, suggesting that transmission most likely occurred through the placenta, the researchers said.

“Our case fully qualifies as congenitally transmitted SARS-CoV-2 infection,” they said in the report.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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