The COVID-19 virus, popularly known in America as the coronavirus infection, has been getting a lot of attention in the news lately. Cases have shown up in numerous countries around the world, including the US. Scientists have been hard at work studying this disease. The Lancet has published a preliminary report on whether the disease can transfer from mothers to unborn children.
The latest research studied nine pregnant women who had pneumonia caused by the disease and gave birth. Scientists took samples from the nose and throat from the infant, as well as from the amniotic fluid, cord blood, and from breastmilk for signs of the new virus.
The study did not find any evidence of the virus in the collected fluids. However, there have been two reported cases in newborns after they had close contact with people who have the disease, including one that contracted it 36 hours after birth.
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This is a new virus, and thus the sample size for this research is small. However, previous similar viruses like SARS and MERS had much worse effects on unborn children. The researchers are cautiously optimistic that pregnant women with COVID-19 do not have to worry as much about the virus causing birth injuries.
The scientists plan to do followup studies as soon as they find more pregnant women infected with the disease.