donation
To request Mental Health
Services or to access Mental
Health Crisis Services Call:
1-800-375-4357

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
COVID Infection Unlikely From Hospital Surfaces: StudyMany People With Asthma Have Mixed Feelings About Masks: PollMore Proof That COVID Vaccines Won't Harm FertilityMore Than 1 Million U.S. Kids Diagnosed With COVID in Single WeekBiden Administration Withdraws Vaccine Mandate for Large EmployersOmicron Batters Already Strained U.S. Hospitals3 Factors Helped Teens Stay Mentally Healthy During PandemicVaccination Key to 'Super Immunity' Against COVID-19Pandemic to Endemic: Is a New Normal Near?Pfizer Begins Testing a COVID Vaccine Targeted to Omicron3 Reasons Why Trying to Get COVID Is a Bad IdeaFree N95 Masks Begin Arriving in U.S. PharmaciesOmicron Shows Signs of Ebbing as U.S. Cases Fall, Hospitalizations Level OffFDA Limits Use of Two COVID Antibody TreatmentsCOVID Can Affect Brains of Hospitalized KidsCOVID Vaccine Hesitancy Falling Faster Among Black Americans Than WhitesEngland to Lift Travel Restrictions for Vaccinated VisitorsAre Pins or a Cast Better for a Broken Wrist?FDA May Limit Use of Two COVID Antibody TreatmentsSome Patients With Macular Degeneration Could Stop Monthly Eye InjectionsYou Don't Have to Smoke to Get Lung CancerCOVID Vaccine Won't Affect Fertility, But Getting COVID MightThree New Studies Confirm Power of Booster Shots Against OmicronHit Your Head? Look for These Warning Signs of ConcussionArthritis & the COVID Vaccine: What You Need to KnowCOVID Boosters Keep Older Americans Out of Hospitals: CDCCOVID Rapid Test Makers Struggling to Meet DemandAHA News: A Healthy Thyroid Can Be Key to a Healthy Heart'Artificial Pancreas' Can Help Kids With Type 1 DiabetesGetting Back to Sports After Recovering from COVID-19Side Effects From New Cancer Meds Have Silver LiningNew Clues to Why Some Develop 'Brain Fog' After COVIDVaccination Plus Prior Infection Best Defense Against COVIDBinge-Watching Could Raise Your Blood Clot RiskIs a Night in the Hospital Necessary After Hip, Knee Replacement?Crowded Emergency Rooms Cost Lives: StudyNo Side Effects From Your COVID Vaccine? Don't Worry, It's Still WorkingNearly Half of Americans Gained Weight in Pandemic's First YearNo Evidence Breastfeeding Can Transmit CoronavirusWHO Says Worst of Pandemic Could Ease This Year if Vaccine Inequities ErasedBiden Plans to Send 400 Million N95 Masks to Americans for FreeHeart Function Rebounds for Kids With COVID-Linked MIS-CAHA News: What Heart and Stroke Patients Need to Know About COVID-19 in 2022Which Kids Are Most Vulnerable to Severe COVID-19?Vaping Might Worsen COVID-19 SymptomsToo Soon to Tell if Omicron Will End Pandemic: FauciWhite House Launches Website for Free Home COVID Tests One Day Ahead of SchedulePolitics Clouds Folks' Views on COVID Rules, Global Survey ConfirmsCOVID-19 Treatments: What You Need to KnowAt-Home COVID Tests Accurate for Ki​ds: Study
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Cancer
Men's Health
Women's Health

Fetal Infection With COVID-19 Possible, But Unlikely


HealthDay News
Updated: Nov 25th 2021

new article illustration


THURSDAY, Nov. 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- There is a very low risk that pregnant women with COVID-19 will pass the virus to their unborn babies, researchers say.

The study should reassure expectant parents, said the British investigators.

To find out if and how the virus could pass from an infected pregnant women to her fetus, the team examined various fetal organs and placenta tissue for two cell surface protein receptors (ACE2 and TMPRSS2) needed by the virus to infect cells and spread.

The only fetal organs with both of the receptors are the intestines and the kidney, but a fetus' kidney is anatomically protected from exposure to the virus and therefore at little risk of infection.

That means that the virus can only infect the fetus via the intestine through swallowing of amniotic fluid, which the unborn baby does naturally for nutrients, according to the researchers.

"The fetus is known to begin swallowing the amniotic fluid in the second half of pregnancy. To cause infection, the SARS-CoV-2 virus would need to be present in significant quantities in the amniotic fluid around the fetus," said study co-author Mattia Gerli of University College London and Royal Free Hospital.

"However, many studies in maternity care have found that the amniotic fluid around the fetus does not usually contain the SARS-CoV2 virus, even if the mother is infected with COVID-19. Our findings therefore explain that clinical infection of the fetus during pregnancy is possible but uncommon and that is reassuring for parents-to-be," Gerli said in a news release.

The findings were recently published in BJOG – An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

"We have shown that the fetal intestine, which is in contact with amniotic fluids swallowed by the baby, is susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, the placenta acts as a natural barrier, and with the limited evidence of amniotic fluid containing the virus, our study should provide reassurance to mothers," added study co-author Dr. Paolo De Coppi, a professor at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.

The greatest risk to the fetus during pregnancy is if the mother becomes seriously ill with COVID, the authors note. The virus might then be present in high concentration in the amniotic fluid. This could also trigger preterm birth.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is the best way to protect the baby and mother, the researchers said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on pregnancy and COVID-19.

SOURCE: University College London, Nov. 19, 2021