The woman, who is in an interesting position, was taken to the Malmo hospital with severe abdominal pain. The child had a low heart rate, which indicated a lack of oxygen. It was decided to have a cesarean section, and later the newborn was tested for coronavirus. He gave a positive result to both the mother and the child. The genomes of the virus were sequenced and indicated that the child was infected before birth.
The first tests allowed us to confirm the identity of the viruses in the mother and baby. Still, after some time, doctors revealed changes in the infection population in the newborn. They found a new strain that differs from the original one.
“This is the first case of a genetic change in the coronavirus in the unique conditions of transmission from mother to fetus before birth,”said Mehren Zygam, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Lund University Hospital.
The specialist believes that mutations of viruses are not uncommon, although, Zaykam adds, a new strain called A 107 G was formed just five days after the birth of the child. According to her, the change in the virus could be triggered by the newborn’s contact with the external environment after extraction from the mother’s womb.
The virus had a devastating effect on the placenta: it was inflamed, and the coronavirus protein was fixed on both sides.
The woman had a mild coronavirus case and was discharged four days after giving birth, but the baby needed neonatal care because it was born prematurely. Nevertheless, he developed antibodies, and the infection proceeded without serious symptoms. It is emphasized that the protection was provided by the child’s immune system since no antibodies were detected in the woman’s breast milk.