Thursday, April 2, 2020

Coronvirus: Can COVID-19 Infect Pregnant Women Or New Born Babies



A baby born to a mother in the UK with COVID-19 tested positive soon after birth. Researchers are not sure whether the baby was infected in the womb or after birth. A study of 9 pregnant women infected with COVID-19 in China showed that none of their babies were affected by the virus.

The virus was not present in amniotic fluid or the baby's throats. No virus was found in the breast milk of these women either. The risk of passing the infection to the fetus appears to be very low. There is no evidence to suggest an increased risk of miscarriage because of the novel coronavirus infection.

Very little is known about how the coronavirus affects pregnant mothers and infants. Therefore, pregnant women should follow the same hygiene protocols. As the virus spreads through respiratory droplets mothers should wash their hands and consider wearing a face mask to minimize infant's exposure to the virus while breastfeeding.

It seems like, pregnant women are not more susceptible to COVID-19. Generally, pregnant women are more susceptible to viruses, that cause breathing problems like the influenza virus that causes flu. This is because their immunity is lowered during pregnancy. Also, their lungs are more compressed and they need more oxygen. But this not the case with COVID-19.

An analysis of 147 women with COVID-19 showed that only 8% had severe disease and only 1% were in critical condition which is lower than the general population.

Scientists have many theories as to why coronavirus infections are less severe in kids:
One theory is that a protein in human cells that the viral particles bind to is not expressed as prominently in children as in adults or the shape of this protein might be different in kids compared to adults.

Another theory is that most kids have healthier lungs than adults. Adults are more exposed to pollution over their lifetime. They also have underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems with age. This makes the COVID-19 more severe in elderly people.

It is also possible that children's immune system does not accelerate to attack the virus as much as adult immune systems do.

Researchers found that an aggressive immune response to the virus in adults also creates destructive inflammation in the body's organs which causes more harm than good.

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