Doctors in France have discovered that what they say is the first recorded case in the world of an unborn child contracting COVID-19 from his mother in the womb

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  • Doctors at France have reported what they say is the first confirmed case of an unborn baby contracting their mother’s COVID-19 while she was still in the womb.
  • The case was published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.
  • The authors said the baby’s brain was evidence of inflammation caused by coronavirus. They also said they found sufficient evidence that he entered the baby through the placenta.
  • Several previous studies indicated that placental or cervical transmission was possible, but the case study at Antoine Béclère hospital in Paris is now used as concrete evidence.
  • But it is very rare. The newspaper’s main author said that “pregnant women should be reassured” because “in most cases the baby will not be harmed.”

Doctors in France have reported that what they say is the first confirmed case of an unborn child contracting their mother’s coronavirus while she was still in the womb.

The case was the subject of an article entitled “Transplacentary transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection”, published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications. The details of the document were first reported by The Guardian.

Until now, there was little evidence to suggest that an unborn child could catch the coronavirus from inside the uterus, but the authors of the article, from Antoine Béclère Hospital, in Paris, have confirmed that “transplacental transmission of SARS-CoV-2” was possible.Publicity


They said a 23-year-old woman was admitted to the hospital with fever and cough on March 24 when she was more than 35 weeks pregnant with a boy.

A doctor detained the newborn son of a coronavirus patient at Monica Pretelini maternal hospital in Toluca, Mexico, May 29, 2020. This is not the case in this story.Cristopher Rogel Blanquet / Getty Images

The mother tested positive for coronavirus, gave birth by cesarean section, and the baby was immediately taken to the natal intensive care unit.Publicity


The baby has tested positive for the virus. He recovered later and was released 18 days later, the doctors said.
They said the baby’s brain was evidence of inflammation caused by the coronavirus, which had crossed the placenta into the baby’s bloodstream. They ruled out the possibility that the baby caught the virus after birth by viral or bacterial means.Publicity


“The placenta has shown signs of acute and chronic intervening inflammation consistent with the severe systemic maternal inflammatory status triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection,” said the authors.

A pregnant woman wearing a facial mask walks past a mural in Hong Kong on March 23, 2020.ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP via Getty Images)

Doctors said there have been similar cases of babies born with the coronavirus, but so far they haven’t been able to say for sure whether babies can get the virus in utero.Publicity


A small study of 31 women in Italy in March and April found evidence that unborn babies could catch the virus from their mothers.

Three other studies released in March also found evidence that it was possible.

The French doctors wrote: “We have demonstrated that transplacental transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection is possible in the last weeks of pregnancy.Publicity


“Other cases of potential perinatal transmission have recently been described, but present several unresolved problems,” said the authors.

A pregnant woman seen during an ultrasound at a perinatal center in Tatarstan on June 5, 2020.Yegor Aleyev TASS via Getty Images

However, Daniele De Luca, the lead author and medical director of pediatrics at the Paris hospital, told the Guardian that cases like this were very rare.Publicity


“Pregnant women should be reassured,” he said. “Pregnancy is very controlled, and if you have something like that, it can be controlled. In most cases, there will be no harm to the baby.

“There are a lot of things we can do, but we cannot close our eyes and say that it will never happen. The long-term effect of coronavirus on pregnant women with coronavirus positive and their unborn children remains unknown.Publicity


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