New Delhi: The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may not pass to the child in the womb during late pregnancy, or cause severe health outcomes in a newborn, according to a study.
The study was published in The Lancet journal.
The small observational study analysed women from Wuhan, China, who were in the third trimester of pregnancy, and had pneumonia caused by COVID-19.
There were two cases of foetal distress in the study, but all nine pregnancies resulted in livebirths, the researchers said.
They also found that symptoms from COVID-19 infection in pregnant women were similar to those reported in non-pregnant adults, and no women in the study developed severe pneumonia or died.
The team cautioned that the findings are based on a limited number of cases, over a short period of time, and only included women who were late in their pregnancy, and gave birth by caesarean section.
The latest study comes after the news of a newborn born to a mother infected with COVID-19 testing positive for COVID-19 infection within 36 hours of birth, which prompted questions about whether the virus could be contracted in the womb.
“It is important to note that many important clinical details of this case are missing, and for this reason, we cannot conclude from this one case whether intrauterine infection is possible,” said lead author of the study, Professor Yuanzhen Zhang, from Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, China.
“Nonetheless, we should continue to pay special attentions to newborns born to mothers with COVID-19 pneumonia to help prevent infections in this group,” Zhang said.