Newborn baby tests positive for coronavirus in UK

It was revealed over the weekend that a newborn baby has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United Kingdom. The baby’s mother was taken to a North London hospital days before the birth for suspected pneumonia. Her COVID-19 results came through as positive after the baby was born, while the baby was tested minutes after delivery.

It is unknown at this stage whether the child contracted the disease in the womb or became infected during birth, but health officials are urgently trying to find out the circumstances behind the infection. It has been reported that the baby is being treated in the hospital, and the mother has been transferred to a specialist infections hospital to prevent further spread of the disease. Staff who were in close contact with the mother and baby have been advised to self-isolate.

Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, has previously stated that pregnant women should not start worrying about COVID-19.

What is the latest advice on coronavirus for pregnant women?

  • Little is known about the impact of coronavirus on pregnancy and the developing foetus, but pregnant women do not appear to be more severely unwell if they contract coronavirus compared with the general population.
  • It is expected that the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate symptoms.
  • More severe symptoms such as pneumonia appear to be more common in older people, those with weakened immune systems, or underlying chronic conditions.
  • If you are pregnant and have an underlying condition, such as diabetes or asthma, you may be more unwell if you contract coronavirus.
  • There are no reported deaths of pregnant women from coronavirus to date.
  • There is no evidence to suggest an increased risk of miscarriage, and as yet there is no evidence that the virus can pass to your developing baby while you are pregnant.
  • For more details, read: Should you be worried about coronavirus if you’re pregnant.

What to do if you’re pregnant and you think you have COVID-19

Remember that it’s more likely to be influenza than COVID-19. For up-to-date information and advice, please read this from the Australian Government Department of Health.

When you visit your doctor or the hospital emergency department, it is very important that you call before visiting to describe your symptoms and travel history.

You can also call the healthdirect helpline on 1800 022 222 to speak with a registered nurse.

If you do not have symptoms, and would like more information

For general information on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), call the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.


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