Mother-to-infant transmission of COVID-19

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Mother-to-infant transmission of COVID-19 during pregnancy and delivery is rare, according to a new study published by JAMA Network Open. “It appears that handwashing and face masks can adequately reduce viral transmission, and the risk of transmission through breastfeeding also appears to be low,” said Fitzpatrick, a post-doctoral fellow at the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Conn.

Women and newborns infected with COVID-19 are believed to be at risk for serious health complications during and after birth, including pre-eclampsia and premature delivery, according to a study in JAMA Pediatrics. However, among infected pregnant women in the United States, transmission to the babies has been rare.

For this study, Fitzpatrick and her colleagues tracked COVID-19 test findings for nearly 97,000 babies born in Ontario between Feb. 1 and Oct. 31 last year. Of those tested, 177, or roughly 3%, were positive for the virus, the data showed. Yet, The risk of infection among mothers and infants will change in response to community transmission.

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