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Baby infected with COVID-19 in the womb: French study

PARIS: Doctors in France have described what they said was the first confirmed case of a newborn infected in the womb with COVID-19 by the mother.
The baby boy, born in March, suffered brain swelling and neurological symptoms linked to COVID-19 in adults, but has since recovered, they reported on Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. Earlier research had pointed to the likely transmission of the virus from mother to foetus, but the study offers the first solid evidence, said senior author Daniele De Luca, a doctor at Antoine Beclere Hospital near Paris.
“We have shown that the transmission from the mother to the foetus across the placenta is possible during the last weeks of pregnancy,” he said.
Last week, researchers in Italy said that data on 31 pregnant women hospitalised with COVID-19 “strongly suggested” that the virus could be passed on to unborn infants.
A JAMA study in March reporting on a similar number of pregnant COVID-19 patients came to a similar conclusion. But evidence remained circumstantial. (AFP)