HealthDay News – There currently is no evidence of intrauterine infection caused by vertical transmission in women who develop 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pneumonia in late pregnancy, according to research published online February 12 in The Lancet.

Huijun Chen, PhD, from Wuhan University in China, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of clinical records, laboratory results, and chest computed tomography scans for 9 pregnant women with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 admitted from January 20 to January 31, 2020.

The researchers note that all the patients had a cesarean section in the third trimester. Seven patients presented with fever. Cough, myalgia, sore throat, and malaise were also observed (4, 3, 2, and 2 patients, respectively). In 2 cases, fetal distress was monitored. Lymphopenia was seen in 5 patients. Increased aminotransferase concentrations were seen in 3 patients. As of February 4, 2020, none of the patients developed severe COVID-19 pneumonia or died. There were 9 recorded live births, all of which had a 1-minute Apgar score of 8 to 9 and a 5-minute Apgar score of 9 to 10. In newborn babies, there was no neonatal asphyxia observed. In 6 patients tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, amniotic fluid, cord blood, neonatal throat swab, and breast milk samples were all negative for the virus.

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“We believe that the findings reported here are important for understanding the clinical characteristics and vertical transmission potential of COVID-19 infection in pregnant women,” the authors write.

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