The child, who gave birth more than three months earlier, died on Monday morning – and investigators concluded that his death was the direct result of the mother’s COVID-19 diagnosis, said coroner, Dr. Beau Clark East Baton Rouge Coroner, in a press release obtained by The Advocate. newspaper.
An oxygen deficiency as a result of the respiratory infection is likely what prompted the mother to give birth prematurely, said the coroner.
Even if test results show that the newborn did not get the coronavirus itself, its cause of death would still be considered “related to COVID,” said Clark, according to the outlet.
Her mother remained hospitalized and authorities have not provided further information on her condition.
No other cases have been reported of deaths of babies after premature birth due to complications from the coronavirus, the newspaper reported.
But a 9-month-old Illinois boy diagnosed with the disease died at the end of last month, although the official cause of death is still pending.
And in Connecticut, a 6-week-old baby died from complications from a coronavirus.
Federal and Louisiana authorities are investigating the Baton Rouge case – and whether the virus has been passed from mother to child in the womb. If so, Clark said it could have “huge ramifications” from a research perspective.
Studies in China show that this “vertical transmission” of the disease from mother to child is possible, although rare.
“We really have limited pregnancy data for COVID-19, but we are learning more every day,” Renee Antoine, director of maternal and child health in Louisiana for the national organization March of Dimes, told The Advocate.