Newborn baby infected with coronavirus in Sweden

Newborn baby infected with coronavirus in Sweden
File photo of a baby not related to the story. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT
Swedish doctors suspect a newborn baby was infected with the coronavirus during the mother's pregnancy, reports Dagens Medicin. If confirmed, it would be the first known case in Sweden.

The newborn baby is being cared for at the neonatal care unit at Skåne University Hospital in southern Sweden, the first known case in Sweden where a newborn baby has been carrying the coronavirus immediately after birth.

It is not confirmed that the baby contracted the virus in the womb, but doctors suspect that is the case.

“We don't know for sure when it was infected but we have to assume it happened during pregnancy,” Elisabeth Olhager, head of pediatric surgery and neonatal care at the hospital, told Dagens Medicin, a news site for people working in the healthcare sector in Sweden.

The child is not showing any of the symptoms that small children with Covid-19 tend to have, such as cough, fever and fatigue, according to the hospital. The mother was confirmed to be carrying the virus during pregnancy, and the hospital said it had followed standard procedures for such situations.

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Olhager said she did not think new procedures for coronavirus-positive mothers were needed.

“For example Region Stockholm has had far more births where the mother was infected but they have not seen any such transmission (of the coronavirus from mother to child during pregnancy), as far as I know. So I do not think any change is needed after one case,” she told Dagens Medicin.

Evidence so far suggests that fetal infection of the coronavirus is rare. A British study published in Lancet Child & Adolescent Health in July tracked 116 pregnant women with Covid-19, none of whom transmitted the infection to the child during pregnancy.


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