Thursday, October 21, 2021

Singapore baby born with Covid-19 antibodies

The Singaporean mother had been hospitalised with mild Covid-19 while in Europe.

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A Singaporean woman, who was infected with Covid-19 in March when she was 10 weeks pregnant, has given birth to a baby with antibodies against the virus.

The baby, a healthy boy named Aldrin, was born this month without the illness but with the virus antibodies, the Straits Times newspaper reported on Sunday. His mother had no antibodies herself by the time Aldrin was born.

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

Private tutor Ng-Chan, 31, fell ill with Covid-19, along with her mother, 58-year-old Choy Wai Chee, and two-year-old daughter, while on holiday in Europe in March. The infection nearly killed her mother, who spent 29 days on life support.

Ng-Chan and her daughter, Aldrina, had mild cases and were discharged from hospital after two-and-a-half weeks.

The World Health Organization says it is not yet known whether a pregnant woman with Covid-19 can pass the virus to her baby during pregnancy or delivery. Until now, 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, according to an article published in October in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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

The Straits Times said that while their case did provide some potential clues about mother-to-child transmission, the answers still are not definitive. What does seem certain is that current evidence indicates that delivery method, breastfeeding or sharing a room after delivery do not appear to affect whether a baby gets the virus from his or her mother.

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