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Wuhan – Children in the womb are apparently protected from infection with the Sars Corona Virus 2 (Sars-CoV-2; previously 2019-nCoV). A small observational study from China speaks against vertical transmission of the corona virus, which first appeared in 2019, as the responsible authors online in Lancet report (doi: 10.1016 / S0140-6736 (20) 30360-3).
According to the study results, there is also no fear of negative effects on the newborn. The total of 9 women from the Chinese city of Wuhan examined had pneumonia caused by Covid-19 (2019 novel coronavirus disease) in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy.
The authors led by gynecologist Huijun Chen from Zhongnan Hospital at Wuhan University also report that Covid 19 symptoms in pregnant women were no different from those in non-pregnant adults. None of the women in the study developed severe pneumonia or died.
However, Chen and his colleagues warn that their results were based on a small number of cases. The women were also only observed for a short time, they were all in an advanced stage of pregnancy and gave birth to the children by caesarean section.
The effect of having the mother infected with Sars-CoV-2 in the 1st or 2nd trimester is therefore still unknown. And whether the virus can be transmitted from the mother to the child during a vaginal birth remains open.
The fear that Sars-CoV-2 could be transmitted from mother to unborn child comes from reports of a newborn who had tested positive for Covid-19 within 36 hours after birth. His mother had been infected with Sars-CoV-2 during pregnancy.
Despite the encouraging results, senior author Yuanzhen Zhang, also from Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan, advises: “Nevertheless, we should continue to pay special attention to newborns whose mothers have Covid-19 pneumonia to prevent infections in this group,” he said quoted in a press release.
Increased vigilance is advised
And also with regard to Covid-19 diseases in pregnant women, the authors advise increased vigilance: “The previous studies on the effects of Covid-19 apply to the general population, so far little is known about the effects on pregnant women,” says Huixia Yang from Peking University First Hospital.
Pregnant women can be particularly susceptible to respiratory pathogens and severe pneumonia because they are immunocompromised and undergo physiological changes during pregnancy that increase the risk of negative disease outcomes.
“Even if none of our patients developed severe pneumonia or died from the infection in our study, we still need to investigate the virus in a larger number of patients in order to assess its effects during pregnancy,” says Yang. © nec / aerzteblatt.de