COVID-19: India reports the first case of mother-baby vertical transmission of coronavirus
Pune : Having a baby during a global pandemic like the coronavirus pandemic can be dangerous. We all know that there are risks involved especially since we don't know much about this virus and the impact it can have on a pregnant woman and the baby. While it has been established that a mother can pass on coronavirus to the child via breastfeeding and contact but we don't really know if this virus can be transmitted to the child before birth or that was the case earlier.
Recently the first case of vertical transmission was reported in a baby. The Sassoon General Hospital, Pune reported the first case where there was a vertical transmission of coronavirus from the mother to the baby via the placenta. Vertical transmission is when the baby gets infected with coronavirus from the mother to baby in the uterus through an organ the develops during the pregnancy and helps provide the baby with oxygen and nutrients and is called the placenta.
In a conversation with Press Trust of India, Dr Aarti Kinikar said, "When a person contracts the infection, it is mainly because of some contact with fomites. If the mother is infected, the baby can be infected post-natally because of breastfeeding or any other contacts. Whereas vertical transmission means when the baby is in the uterus itself and the mother has an infection, (she may be) either symptomatic or asymptomatic, and she can transfer the infection through the placenta to the baby."
The Indian Council of Medical Research has made it mandatory to test every pregnant woman for COVID-19. This is why this woman was also tested but she came negative for coronavirus but right after the baby was born the swabs from the child along with the placenta, the umbilical cord was also tested and it came out to be positive for coronavirus. Dr Kinikar said, "The baby was then kept in a separate ward. After two to three days of birth, the baby also developed strong symptoms like fever and there were signs of cytokine storm, suggesting severe inflammation."