It’s time to deliver some good news from the covid-19 front. A Singaporean woman, who was infected with the novel coronavirus in March when she was pregnant, has given birth to a baby with antibodies against the virus. Yes, you read that right.
While not much is known about the baby, the Straits Times newspaper reported that the baby was born this month without covid-19 but with the virus antibodies.
“My doctor suspects I have transferred my covid-19 antibodies to him during my pregnancy,” Celine Ng-Chan told the paper.
Ng-Chan had been mildly ill from the disease and was discharged from hospital after two-and-a-half weeks, the Straits Times said.
This has been one of the most important questions about the nature of the disease, but unfortunately, the answer isn’t all that clear. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it is not yet known whether a pregnant woman with covid-19 can pass the virus to her foetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery.
However, doctors from New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center claimed in the October edition of JAMA Pediatrics that the transmission of the new coronavirus from mothers to new-borns is rare.
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Thankfully though, till date, the active virus has not been found in samples of fluid around the baby in the womb or in breast milk.
Singapore is by no means the first country where a baby with coronavirus antibodies has been born. Turns out, doctors in China have reported the detection and decline over time of covid-19 antibodies in babies born to women with the coronavirus disease.
While there aren’t far too many news reports on this development, an article published in October in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases is a testament to this development.