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Case Confirmed in France of Intrauterine Transmission of Coronavirus

What Happened?

French doctors reported the first confirmed case of IUD by Covid-19, in a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

The baby born in March suffered from neurological symptoms linked to the disease. “We have shown that mother-to-fetus transmission is possible through the placenta during the last few weeks of pregnancy,” said Dr. Daniele De Luca of the Antoine Beclere Hospital in Clamart, lead author of the study.

Previous studies suggested the possibility of prenatal transmission from mother to child, but this new one provides evidence, he noted. “You have to analyze the maternal blood, the amniotic fluid, the blood of the newborn, the placenta, etc,” he said.

Studies on Pregnant Women

Doctors conducted this study with a young mother, hospitalized in early March. The delivery had to be performed by caesarean section and it was possible to take all the samples from the potential reservoirs of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, whose highest load was found in the placenta. “From there it passed through the umbilical cord to the baby, who than developes it,” said De Luca.

Twenty-four hours after birth, the baby presented severe symptoms, such as stiff limbs and injuries to the cerebral nervous system, which gradually disappeared. “The bad news is that it can happen. The good news is that it is rare,” said De Luca.

Of the thousands of cases of children born to mothers with Covid-19, less than 2% have tested positive for the coronavirus, and fewer still have developed severe symptoms, said Marian Knight, professor of maternal and child health at Oxford University. , regarding the study.

“The main message for pregnant women continues to be that they avoid infection through hand washing and social distancing,” said the expert.

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