CMAAO Coronavirus Facts and Myth Buster: Antibodies in Newborn

With input from Dr Monica Vasudev

1179: Singaporean woman who had COVID-19 gives birth to baby with coronavirus antibodies

The baby of a woman from Singapore who contracted the coronavirus infection in March, when she was 10 weeks pregnant, was born with antibodies but no disease.

Celine Ng-Chan, aged 31, contracted COVID-19, along with her mother, 58-year-old Choy Wai Chee, and 2-year-old daughter, while they were on holiday in Europe in March. Her mother spent 29 days on life support. Ng-Chan and her daughter, Aldrina, had mild infection.  Her husband and son did not get infected.

In February, a 1-day-old baby became the youngest patient to contract COVID-19, and was the first suspected case of mother-to-child transmission. In a study from China, three out of 33 pregnant, infected women gave birth to babies who had COVID-19. All three babies recovered.

In July, another study added to the available evidence that coronavirus can be passed from pregnant women to their fetuses and newborns. However, the study had only 31 participants and was too small to be conclusive.

Ng-Chan herself was not having antibodies by the time Aldrin was born.

The National Institute of Medical Sciences, Singapore has noted that thus far, no virus was present in the fluid surrounding the womb nor in her breast milk. China has confirmed that women with COVID-19 give birth to children with antibodies. A medical journal that reports on Pediatrics has stated that it is rare for a new born to contract COVID-19 from its mother. The same has been reconfirmed by the National Institute of Medical Sciences, Singapore.

The World Health Organization has stated that it is not yet known if a pregnant woman with coronavirus can pass it to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery.



Dr KK Aggarwal

President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA

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