Shortly before an infant was born in Wuhan, China, his mother was diagnosed with the Coronavirus. Now, another infant was recently diagnosed.
It’s unclear how old the second newborn child is, or if his mother had the virus prior to his birth. According to CNN, their diagnoses prompted questions of whether or not the coronavirus could be transmitted in utero or during childbirth.
Newborn Just 30 Hours Old Tests Positive for the Coronavirus
There have been other reported cases of expectant mothers who were diagnosed with the coronavirus but their offspring tested negative. In an interview with Business Insider, Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, said “an in-utero transmission was improbable.”
“It’s more likely that the baby contracted the virus from the hospital environment, the same way healthcare workers get infected by the patients they treat. It’s quite possible that the baby picked it up very conventionally — by inhaling virus droplets that came from the mother coughing.”
Morse says because the coronavirus is a respiratory virus, it’s unlikely it would be transmitted through the mother’s bloodstream to her unborn child.
The coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization, is “a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.”
As CBS News reports, the first newborn diagnosed with the virus was born weighing a healthy seven pounds and is now being watching closely by doctors. Thankfully, according to ABC News, both of the infants are reportedly in stable condition.
The child’s symptoms were reported as shortness of breath and some abnormalities in liver function. An x-ray showed the baby had an infection in his chest but he never developed a cough or a fever.
The coronavirus, which reportedly originated in parts of China, has since spread across the globe. According to CBS News, there have been more than 278,000 reported cases the coronavirus and 565 deaths.
There is still a lot of unknowns surrounding the coronavirus, how it is spread and how contagious it can be. While this new strain is still a mystery of sort, the coronavirus isn’t new. As ABC News reports, the virus makes up about 30-percent of common colds.
As the WHO reports, it’s especially important during cold and flu season that people remember to “clean hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub, cover their nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow, and avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.”
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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