MONDAY, July 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- If correct hygiene procedures are undertaken, perinatal transmission of COVID-19 is unlikely to occur, according to a study published online July 23 in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.
Christine M. Salvatore, M.D., from Komansky Children's Hospital in New York City, and colleagues aimed to elucidate best practices regarding infection control in mother-newborn dyads and identify potential risk factors associated with transmission. All neonates born between March 22 and May 17, 2020, at three New York Presbyterian Hospitals to mothers positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) at delivery were identified. Mothers could breastfeed but had to wear a surgical mask when near their neonate and practice proper hand hygiene.
A total of 116 mothers tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and 120 neonates were identified. The researchers found that none of the neonates were positive for SARS-CoV-2 on testing at 24 hours of life. Eighty-two neonates (68 percent) completed follow-up at days 5 to 7 of life; 83 percent roomed in with mothers. All of the mothers were allowed to breastfeed; 78 percent were still breastfeeding at days 5 to 7. Repeat testing was conducted at days 5 to 7 (79 neonates) and at 14 days of life (72 neonates); none of the tests were positive. No neonates had COVID-19 symptoms.
"This finding supports the previous reports of a low risk of perinatal transmission with strict infection control practices," the authors write.