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, PhD, from the School of Health Sciences at Wuhan University in China, and colleagues report on 4 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 (3 of 4 were male). Symptoms included fever (2 cases), shortness of breath (1 case), and cough (1 case), while one infant had no symptoms. There were no severe complications reported. All 4 newborns received supportive treatment and none required intensive care unit support or mechanical ventilation. For the 3 newborn babies who recovered and were discharged at the time of writing, hospital stays were 16, 23, and 30 days. All 4 mothers were infected, with 3 showing symptoms before delivery and 1 after delivery. All 4 infants were delivered via Cesarean section. Three of the 4 newborns were separated from their mothers immediately after birth and were not breastfed.

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“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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