When you are a COVID positive mum, it is natural to feel anxious for the birth of your child. What if he will get infected with the novel coronavirus? What are the odds that the infant will fall ill to the COVID 19 symptoms?
Apparently, for Celine Ng-Chan, a COVID positive Singaporean mom, the odds were in her favor. Her child was born without COVID 19 infection. In fact, the infant had antibodies.
Now, it is unclear as to the level of protection the COVID 19 antibodies will give the child. The period of time the antibodies' protection will stay with the infant is also yet to be observed.
A Trip to Europe Cause COVID 19
While pregnant, Chan traveled to Europe with her husband and father. This happened in March of this year. However, her travel companions did not show COVID 19 positive symptoms. Only the pregnant woman experienced the symptoms of COVID 19.
Chan's doctor believes that COVID 19 antibodies may have been transferred to the fetus during pregnancy, Sky News reported. She had previously been hospitalized for being mildly ill from COVID 19. She was discharged after 2.5 weeks.
COVID 19 Transmission from Mother to Infant
The World Health Organization is yet to finally determine whether or not COVID 19 can be passed on from mother to fetus during pregnancy or delivery. COVID 19 is absent from samples of fluid around babies in-vitro. The novel coronavirus is also not found in breast milk samples.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) previously noted that the transmission of COVID 19 to a newborn will occur through respiratory droplets after birth. When the baby is exposed to a COVID 19 positive individual, and not in-vitro.
To reduce the risk of COVID 19 transmission to the baby, strict hygiene practices, social distancing, and wearing a face mask is essential. To date, there is no evidence that states COVID 19 can be transmitted via breast milk. CDC states breast milk is not a novel coronavirus source, ABC reported.
In China, the doctors there reported detection of COVID 19 antibodies in babies born to COVID positive moms. However, over time they noticed a decline in babies born with antibodies. Furthermore, transmission of COVID 19 from mothers to infants is rare.
Impact of COVID 19 on Unborn Babies
Singaporean doctors are now studying the impact of the virus on unborn babies after the birth of Aldrin, the baby born with COVID 19 antibodies. The study includes city-state public hospitals.
The objective is to find out if the COVID 19 antibodies will act effectively as virus protection. Further, they want to find out the duration of protection against the virus, Telegraph UK reported.
Importance of COVID 19 Antibodies
Antibodies are the proteins that can ward off infections. It may provide a certain degree of immunity. However, there are slight differences to how much antibodies can protect you. For instance, while measles antibodies offer protection during exposure, mumps antibodies won't protect you after repeat exposure.
It takes 1-3 weeks post-COVID 19 infection for the body to make the antibodies. The birth of the baby born with antibodies shows the antibodies were formed at least at the final trimester so that he would be born without the infection.
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