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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Northwestern: Study Looks at Coronavirus Transmission in Womb

As new cases of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 were reported in China and beyond, concerns about possible transmission of coronavirus from pregnant mothers to their unborn children also arose, after Chinese state media reported on an infected patient who gave birth to a baby who later tested positive for the virus.

A new study published in The Lancet, however, has found no evidence that COVID-19 is passed from women in their third trimester to their unborn fetus in the womb, a mechanism known as vertical transmission, based on examination of medical records and tissue samples from nine pregnant patients who were infected with the disease.

If proper isolation practices during and after birth are followed, women diagnosed with COVID-19 should be able to deliver healthy babies without the infection, said Dr. Wei Zhang, associate professor of Preventive Medicine in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention and co-author of the study 

Professor Zhang cautioned, however, that these results may not be generalizable to earlier-stage pregnancies.

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