Less than 2% of babies born to mothers infected with Covid-19 test positive at the time of birth, according to a survey published Wednesday (16/3) by the portal The BMJ.
Although the risk of transmission is extremely low, the results suggest babies of mothers with more severe infection may be more likely to test positive.
According to the researchers, measures such as caesarean sections, mother-baby separation at birth or formula milk to prevent the transmission of the virus to babies did not influence the contamination rates.
The team of researchers reviewed nearly 500 studies involving mothers with Covid-19 who sought hospital care. Overall, 1.8% of 14,271 babies born to infected mothers also tested positive.
The researchers obtained information on time of exposure and type for 592 positive babies. Among them, 14 had confirmed mother-to-child transmission: seven before birth (still in the womb), two during labor (intrapartum) and five in the early postnatal period (up to 10 days after birth).
Babies were more likely to test positive for Covid-19 if their mothers had a severe case, were admitted to an intensive care unit, developed an infection or died soon after delivery, according to the research.
The variation found between studies also suggests that when adequate preventive measures are taken during the intrapartum and early postpartum period, such as consistent and adequate use of personal protective equipment, infection of the new -born is unlikely.
“Given that vaccines are not available for infants and young children, it is essential that better data be available to inform appropriate shared decision-making about perinatal care between parents and health care providers” , concludes Catherine McLean Pirkle in a linked editorial.
Source: Metropolis | Photo: Getty Images