The impact of coronavirus on pregnant women and the fetus

The novel coronavirus has been spreading rapidly across China's Hubei province since its emergence in late December, quickly infecting 60,000 people in 25 countries (for more accurate data, see the coronavirus map online ).
There is a possibility that children have a lower risk of getting sick.

How can the virus affect newborns?

The latest results from a study conducted in Wuhan, China suggest that coronavirus during pregnancy does not affect the health of the fetus. The news has prompted scientists to determine whether COVID-19 can be passed on to a fetus in the womb.

The routes of transmission do not appear to include amniotic fluid, cord blood, or breast milk, all of which may be vertical transmission routes. However, it is not clear how the virus affects women in the early stages of pregnancy, as this study only looked at those who were in their third trimester of pregnancy.

Women infected with coronavirus should probably be isolated from their newborns after birth to avoid infecting them through close contact.

Pregnant women do not transmit coronavirus to the fetus?

The study involved nine pregnant women aged 26 to 40 who were diagnosed with pneumonia caused by COVID-19.
All of them were in the third trimester at the start of the study and delivered successfully by caesarean section.

Samples of amniotic fluid, cord blood, breast milk and throat swabs from newborns have been tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and all tests were negative.

The most notable finding was that the virus was not transmitted from mother to fetus in the womb. In addition, pregnant women did not have any clinical differences in how their disease progressed compared to the general population.

All women were in the third trimester, so it is not known how they will react to infection in the first or second trimester.

Since all women gave birth by caesarean section, it is not clear whether the virus could have been transmitted to the newborn during vaginal delivery. The likelihood of this will largely depend on how the virus spreads.

According to Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, if the virus is spread by airborne droplets, then the risk of its transmission will be the same as with caesarean section and vaginal delivery.
“If a viral infection is spread through the blood or body fluids, such as HIV, then the transmission rate decreases with a caesarean section,” Wu said.

While the data here is promising, the scientists note that the study is small and more testing is needed before they can conclude whether the infection is likely in utero or not.


A new coronavirus study suggests that illness during pregnancy does not affect the fetus. All of the women who participated in the observations were in the third trimester and delivered by caesarean section, so it is not clear how the virus is able to manifest in early pregnancies or vaginal births.

Until there are no more answers, the researchers say it is critical to continue paying special attention to pregnant women infected with COVID-19, who may be at greater risk of complications and negative birth outcomes.

You can also read about the prevention of coronavirus in children on our website.

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