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2 Newborns Test Positive For Novel Coronavirus in Wuhan
  • Two newborn babies tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). It’s still not yet clear how the babies caught the new coronavirus strain that has infected more than 24,000 people worldwide.

    One baby tested positive for the 2019-nCoV just 30 hours after birth, Chinese state media Xinhua reported on Wednesday, February 5, 2020.

    The baby was born on February 2, 2020, in Wuhan City, the epicenter of the outbreak. According to Wuhan Children’s Hospital, a clinical institute of Union Hospital, which is affiliated with Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, the mother also tested positive for the novel virus before giving birth.

    The infant, who weighed 3.25 kilograms (about 7.2 pounds) at birth, is now the youngest person recorded to be infected with the new strain of coronavirus.


    Reuters reported, citing state broadcaster CCTV, that the baby has “no fever or cough, but was experiencing shortness of breath.” Doctors disclosed that the infant’s chest x-rays “showed signs of infection, and there were some abnormalities in liver function.” 

    The newborn is “now in stable condition and under observation,” Xinhua’s report added.

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    Doctors at Wuhan Children Hospital also disclosed an earlier case of a baby who showed symptoms of the 2019-nCoV 16 days after birth. 

    The baby was born healthy on January 13. Days after the birth, the infant’s nanny tested positive for the 2019-nCoV, and the mother was confirmed to be infected as well. The little one started showing symptoms on January 29. The baby is not in critical condition but still under careful monitoring.

    Zeng Lingkon, the chief physician of the hospital’s neonatal medicine department, told Chinese state TV that the baby was in close contact with both infected caregivers. However, it is not yet clear if the nanny or the mother infected the newborn or the mother passed the virus to her baby during pregnancy or birth.

    Mother-to-child transmission of 2019-nCoV has yet to be confirmed

    The news came after reports dated February 3, announced that another pregnant woman infected with 2019-nCoV gave birth to a healthy baby girl on January 30 in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province. The baby tested negative for the virus twice.

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    A day before that good news, on February 2, Chen Zhimin, an expert from the respiratory medicine department of the Children’s Hospital of Zhejiang University, warned there is a potential risk of vertical transmission. Children’s immunity and respiratory tracts are not as mature as those of adults, which makes them more prone to infection.

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    Vertical transmission happens when an infection is passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy or immediately before or after birth. It means that the pathogen — bacteria, viruses, and other organisms — may pass through the placenta, via breast milk, or when the mom and baby have direct contact immediately after delivery.

    Some illnesses that have vertical transmission, or passed from mother to child, include rubella, chickenpox, syphilis, and HIV. 

    Scientists are still trying to learn more about the novel coronavirus. Individuals with a weakened immune system, such as the elderly and pregnant women, are more likely to contract the pneumonia-like disease and develop complications, even death. 

    For more updates on the novel cornavirus update, click here.

    What other parents are reading

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