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Doctors Report on Four COVID-19 Infections in Newborns in China

Newborn babies and infants appear to be less vulnerable to poor outcomes with COVID-19

FRIDAY, April 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with adults, symptoms of COVID-19 in newborn babies are milder and outcomes are less severe, according to a research letter published online April 8 in the European Respiratory Journal.

Zhi-Jiang Zhang, Ph.D., from the School of Health Sciences at Wuhan University in China, and colleagues report on four cases of COVID-19 infections that were nucleic acid-confirmed in newborn babies in China (as of March 13).

The researchers note that the newborns ranged in age from 30 hours to 17 days old (three of four were male). Symptoms included fever (two cases), shortness of breath (one case), and cough (one case), while one infant had no symptoms. There were no severe complications reported. All four newborns received supportive treatment and none required intensive care unit support or mechanical ventilation. For the three newborn babies who recovered and were discharged at the time of writing, hospital stays were 16, 23, and 30 days. All four mothers were infected, with three showing symptoms before delivery and one after delivery. All four infants were delivered via Cesarean section. Three of the four newborns were separated from their mothers immediately after birth and were not breastfed.

"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," Zhang said in a statement.

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