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Infectious Diseases

Updated 14 April 2020

Newborns with Covid-19 may suffer only mild symptoms

It's, however, important that any cases of Covid-19 in newborns are picked up, monitored and treated quickly and carefully.

Newborns with Covid-19 may get by with only mild infection symptoms, a small, new study suggests.

Researchers at Wuhan University in China identified four newborns with the Covid-19 coronavirus. All were born to mothers with Covid-19 and delivered by Caesarean section. Three were separated from their mothers at birth.

None of the babies developed serious symptoms or required intensive care or mechanical ventilation, according to the study in the European Respiratory Journal.

"Covid-19 is highly contagious and our study suggests that intrauterine transmission cannot be ruled out, but that the prognosis is good for both pregnant women and newborn babies," study author Zhi-Jiang Zhang said in a journal news release. He is an associate professor in epidemiology.

Longer-term consequences

However, the researchers noted that the rapid spread of the infection may mean they weren't able to identify all cases of newborns with Covid-19.

Tobias Welte is an infection expert with the European Respiratory Society.

"It's important to protect pregnant women and newborn babies against infection. It's also important that any cases of Covid-19 in newborns are picked up, monitored and treated quickly and carefully. At this stage we still do not know whether there are any longer-term consequences of infection," said Welte, a coordinator for the national German Covid-19 task force. He was not involved in the study.

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