Scientists and doctors have recorded a case of COVID infection as early as the mother’s womb

Scientists and doctors have recorded a case of COVID infection as early as the mother's womb

Researchers in Sweden have for the first time found a new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in an infant whose mother contracted the new type of infection, The Conversation reports.
The woman, who is pregnant, was brought to Malmö hospital with severe abdominal pain. The baby has recorded a low heart rate, which indicated a lack of oxygen. A decision was made to perform a cesarean section, later the baby was tested for coronavirus. It was positive for both mother and baby. The genomes of the virus were sequenced and it was indicated that the baby had been infected before birth.
The first tests confirmed that the viruses in the mother and the baby were identical, but after some time, the medics revealed changes in the population of the infection in the newborn. He was found to have a new strain that had differences from the original strain.
“This is the first case of a genetic change in a coronavirus under unique conditions of mother-to-fetus transmission before birth,” stressed Mehren Zaigam, a scientist and obstetrician-gynecologist at Lund University Hospital.
The specialist believes that virus mutations are not uncommon, although, Zaygam adds, the new strain, named A107G, formed just five days after birth. She says the virus change could have been triggered by the newborn’s contact with the outside environment after being extracted from the womb.
The virus had a devastating effect on the placenta: it was inflamed, and the coronavirus protein was fixed on both sides.
The woman contracted the coronavirus in a mild form and was discharged four days after delivery, but the baby needed neonatal care because he was born prematurely. Nevertheless, he developed antibodies, and the infection proceeded without serious symptoms. It is emphasized that the baby’s immune system provided protection, as no antibodies were found in the woman’s breast milk.
More than 113 million people worldwide have been infected with the coronavirus and more than 2.5 million have died. The U.S., India, and Brazil were reported to have the highest number of cases and victims.