It is possible for a pregnant mother to pass on Covid-19 to the foetus, says ICMR

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It is possible for a pregnant mother to pass on Covid-19 to the foetus, says ICMR

  • Recently, a mother who is Corona positive gave birth to an infant who was tested negative for the infection — 10 days after the delivery at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
  • But India’s apex body for biomedical research says that there is a possibility of transmission of Coronavirus infection from the mother to the foetus.
  • As of now, no research shows that the virus contributes to miscarriage.
  • According to researchers, pregnant women with heart diseases are at higher risk of catching the infection.
Recently, a mother who is Corona positive gave birth to an infant who was tested negative for the infection — 10 days after the delivery at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The newborn is the first to be born to a Coronavirus positive mother in India.

But India’s apex body for biomedical research says that there is a possibility of transmission of Coronavirus infection from the mother to the foetus — during pregnancy or delivery. However, the impact on the newborn is still to be discovered.

On Monday (April 13), the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that the scientific evidence on the transmission of Covid-19 show that it can infect the baby in the mother’s womb but “there are no recorded cases of breast milk being tested positive for COVID-19”.
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As of now, no research shows that the virus contributes to miscarriage but long term data is yet to be analysed. “COVID-19 infection is currently not an indication for Medical Termination of Pregnancy,” ICMR noted.

But while there are no traces of the impact of Coronavirus infection on the newborns, after-birth transmission via ‘infectious respiratory secretions’ is still a cause for concern.

“The risk to the mother appears to increase in particular during the last trimester of pregnancy. There are also cases of preterm birth in women with COVID-19 but it is unclear whether the preterm birth was always iatrogenic, or whether some were spontaneous,” the ICMR said.
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According to researchers, pregnant women with heart diseases are at higher risk of catching the infection. Given that, ICMR has also issued guidelines specific to the management of pregnant women during Coronavirus pandemic.


It is possible for a pregnant mother to pass on Covid-19 to the foetus, says ICMR

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“Facilities should consider temporarily separating (e.g. separate rooms) the mother who has confirmed COVID-19 or is a PUI, from her baby until the mother’s transmission-based precautions are discontinued,” the guidelines said.

It also says that the medical staff should be geared with personal protective equipment (PPE) and telehealth services should be used for prenatal care, as far as possible. Even during childbirth “a single, asymptomatic birth partner should be permitted to stay with the woman, at a minimum, through pregnancy and birth”.

Medical staff, family and visitors are also instructed to wear PPE — including gown, gloves, face mask, and eye protection.

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See also:
Coronavirus is 10 times more deadly than swine flu, says WHO
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