New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Pune’s B J Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital has reported a case of vertical transmission of COVID-19 from a mother to her child, causing severe infection in the infant with the doctors claiming it to be the first such case in the country.

“Dept of Pediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Microbiology and Biochemistry at BJ Govt Medical College, attached to Sassoon General Hospital, have reported the first case of vertical transmission of COVID causing severe disease in the newborn,” the hospital said in a statement.

According to the hospital, though the mother had tested negative for the virus in the RT-PCR test, the virus was detected in the baby’s nasopharyngeal swab, placenta and umbilical cord, which confirmed that the transmission was vertical.

Hindustan Times quoted paediatric department head Dr Aarti Kinikar saying that while the mother tested negative in RT-PCR test, the infant showed symptoms like fever, lethargy and other signs of Covid-19, along with abnormal blood tests suggesting severe inflammation. "The baby required intensive care, but recovered completely over a period of three weeks," she added. 

"Although she tested negative for the virus, she did transmit the infection in the child. However, after four weeks when we did an antibodies test, there was evidence of Covid-19 infection by a strong antibody response. It is possible that she recovered on her own. This was a very challenging case for us," Dr Kinikar said.

While researchers at BJMC claim this to be the first such case, doctors at Delhi’s RML Hospital had claimed to have reported the country’s first case of mother-to-child transmission in June when 24-year-old woman, who had contracted the virus but was cured of it before her delivery, gave birth to a COVID-19 positive baby, according to a report by New Indian Express.

Vertical transmission involves the passing of the virus from a female vector to her offspring, both males and females. So far, the impact of coronavirus on pregnant mothers and their babies is still not know. 

The World Health Organisation, in its research, claims that there is not enough evidence to conclude that the transmission of coronavirus from the mother to her baby during pregnancy or delivery is possible or not.

Contrary to the statement by the WHO, the Indian Council of Medical Research said that there can be a possibility of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) from a pregnant mother to the newborn.

 In a report published by the Economic Times, the country's top medical research body said that the available scientific evidence suggests that transmission of the virus can happen to a baby before the birth, while it is in the mother's womb, or during delivery from an infected pregnant mother.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta