A baby was born already infected with the coronavirus after researchers found that the mother tested positive for COVID-19, a study published Tuesday found.
The baby, born in a French hospital in March, also tested positive for the virus and began exhibited symptoms including brain inflammation. The researchers noted that the viral load, a term referring to how much COVID-19 is present, was found to be exceptionally high in the mother’s placenta.
The baby has since recovered and was discharged from hospital after 18 days without any necessary medication. A two-month follow-up found that most of the symptoms had already passed.
The researchers have posited that the baby caught the coronavirus from the mother’s placenta.
The study is not the first to have found newborns to be born with the coronavirus. Research published Friday by US researchers was also focused on a baby that tested positive for coronavirus 24 and 48 hours after birth.
In the Paris example, the study demonstrated that “the virus reaches the placenta and replicated there,” Dr. Daniele De Luca, leader of the research team and chief of pediatrics and neonatal critical care at Paris-Saclay University Hospitals said, the New York Times reported.
The symptoms of COVID-19 in the baby are very similar to those of an adult infection, De Luca added.