Mothers may pass coronavirus to unborn children, say Chinese doctors

Henrietta Strickland
February 5, 2020

Pregnant women infected with the new coronavirus may be able to pass it to their unborn children, doctors at the Wuhan Children Hospital told state broadcaster CCTV.

A newborn baby tested positive for deadly coronavirus in China, 30 hours after delivery, according to Chinese media on Wednesday.

The baby, who was born February 2, is being treated at Wuhan Children Hospital and is in stable condition with no fever or cough, but had experienced shortness of breath.

Chest X-rays showed signs of infection and there were some abnormalities in liver functions. Wuhan is considered the virus epicenter, and 99 percent of the cases have occurred in mainland China.

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak, which originated in Wuhan in December, has risen to almost 500, with more than 24,000 confirmed cases.

"This child is a special case", said Zhao Huaxian, the hospital's head of pediatrics.

Two other newborns were also feared to have been carrying the coronavirus, one born on January 13 and another born the same week as the infected newborn.

"This reminds us to pay attention to mother-to-child being a possible route of coronavirus transmission", Dr Zeng said.
The newborn was reportedly stable after birth but started showing signs of breathing problems.

Three mainland Chinese citizens who had been on board from January 19 to January 24 were found to have had the virus, Hong Kong's health department said, adding that most of those remaining on board were from Hong Kong.

She then revealed the newborn's nanny had been diagnosed with coronavirus days before the mother had been infected.

Singapore's health ministry confirmed four more coronavirus cases on Wednesday (local time), including a six-month-old baby, taking its tally to 28.

Lingkong said the two cases confirm that infants are also at risk of contracting the virus.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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