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Current Affairs

Transmission of COVID-19 from mother to child

Date: 06 April 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

It is still unclear whether a pregnant woman runs the risk of transmitting the virus to her baby during pregnancy. While there is no concrete evidence for vertical transmission of SARS-CoV2 from mother to foetus, it is known that pregnancy involves a risk, after birth, of adverse outcomes from many respiratory viral infections.

 

Background

A virus may be transmitted after delivery either from mother during breastfeeding or from the hospital environment.

 

Details

  • The World Health Organization notes that there is no evidence yet to show that pregnant women are more vulnerable or are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 than the general population.

  • Experts have flagged this concern as they cite the recent history of vertical maternal-foetal transmission of such emerging viral infections as the Zika virus, Ebola virus, Marburg virus and other agents.

  • Maternal management and foetal safety are a significant concern, but the infection is at a low level and there is not sufficient number of patients for studies to assess the vulnerability of pregnant women and whether there was vertical transmission of COVID-19 virus to their babies.

  • So far no reliable evidence recommends any specific COVID-19 treatment for pregnant women. Before allowing drugs for pregnant women, clinical trials would be needed to prove the effectiveness of drugs and the effects on the foetus to establish a standardised treatment.