Baby born with COVID-19 antibodies in Singapore: Report

A nurse wearing a protective suit and mask tends to a baby who is affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Hazrate Ali Asghar Hospital, in Tehran, Iran September 27, 2020. (File photo: Reuters)

A Singaporean woman, who was infected with the coronavirus in March when she was pregnant, has given birth to a baby with antibodies against the virus, offering a new clue as to whether the infection can be transferred from mother to child.

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The baby was born this month without COVID-19 but with the virus antibodies, the Straits Times newspaper reported on Sunday, citing the mother.

“My doctor suspects I have transferred my COVID-19 antibodies to him during my pregnancy,” Celine Ng-Chan told the paper.

Ng-Chan had been mildly ill from the disease and was discharged from hospital after two-and-a-half weeks, the Straits Times said.

Pre-school children gather around a table inside their classroom as schools reopened in Singapore on June 2, 2020. (AFP)

Pre-school children gather around a table inside their classroom as schools reopened in Singapore on June 2, 2020. (AFP)

Ng-Chan and the National University Hospital (NUH), where she gave birth, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The World Health Organization says it is not yet known whether a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery.

To date, the active virus has not been found in samples of fluid around the baby in the womb or in breast milk.

Doctors in China have reported the detection and decline over time of COVID-19 antibodies in babies born to women with the coronavirus disease, according to an article published in October in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Transmission of the new coronavirus from mothers to newborns is rare, doctors from New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center reported in October in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Last Update: Sunday, 29 November 2020 KSA 12:09 - GMT 09:09
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