Newborns with Covid-19 may suffer only mild symptoms


Newborns with Covid-19 may get by with only mild infection symptoms, a small, new study suggests.

Researchers at Wuhan University in China identified four newborns with the Covid-19 coronavirus. All were born to mothers with Covid-19 and delivered by Caesarean section. Three were separated from their mothers at birth.

None of the babies developed serious symptoms or required intensive care or mechanical ventilation, according to the study in the European Respiratory Journal.

"Covid-19 is highly contagious and our study suggests that intrauterine transmission cannot be ruled out, but that the prognosis is good for both pregnant women and newborn babies," study author Zhi-Jiang Zhang said in a journal news release. He is an associate professor in epidemiology.

Longer-term consequences

However, the researchers noted that the rapid spread of the infection may mean they weren't able to identify all cases of newborns with Covid-19.

Tobias Welte is an infection expert with the European Respiratory Society.

"It's important to protect pregnant women and newborn babies against infection. It's also important that any cases of Covid-19 in newborns are picked up, monitored and treated quickly and carefully. At this stage we still do not know whether there are any longer-term consequences of infection," said Welte, a coordinator for the national German Covid-19 task force. He was not involved in the study.

READ | The new coronavirus: Children get mild symptoms, but chance of transmission is high – study shows

READ | Babies are spared severe symptoms of the new coronavirus

READ | Pregnant women need to guard against coronavirus

Image credit: iStock

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
27% - 9950 votes
73% - 26289 votes