Coronavirus in Wuhan (COVID-19) can infect through the respiratory tract and can cause death from pneumonia. Pregnant women are more susceptible to respiratory pathogens (such as the flu) due to the ineffective immune system and changes in respiratory physiology during pregnancy. So will pregnant women infected with COVID-19 infect the fetus?
1. Research on the possibility of Coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission from pregnant women to their unborn babies
To answer this question, the researchers studied the presence of COVID-19 in the amniotic fluid, umbilical cord blood, and the milk of 9 pregnant women infected with COVID-19 as well as the throat swab in their fetus. All 9 pregnant women were in good health before becoming pregnant but were hospitalized for pneumonia between 36 and 39 weeks of pregnancy and tested positive for COVID-19 along with other symptoms but did not have to use breathing machines.
All 9 babies were born via C – section, mothers and babies did not suffer serious complications. The test showed that no COVID-19 existed in the amniotic fluid, umbilical cord blood, breast milk and throat swabs.
2. There hasn’t been any evidence of coronavirus infection spreading from pregnant women to their unborn babies
The study suggests that until now there is no evidence that Coronavirus (COVID-19) is transmitted from mother to the fetus. It is worth noting that although the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and SARS genomes are quite similar (86%), previous studies have shown that women infected with SARS have a high rate of complications, such as spontaneous abortion, premature birth. These complications did not occur in all 9 pregnant women infected with COVID-19 in the study. In summary, evidence from coronavirus outbreaks including COVID-19, SARS and MERS shows that babies seem not to be infected with the coronavirus from their mothers.
However, pregnant women are highly susceptible to respiratory infections, including COVID-19, and they easily get severe pneumonia much more than other people. Therefore, pregnant women should be taken care of very carefully during the outbreak time of COVID-19.