A bizarre medical case has stunned the world when a pregnant woman was rushed to the hospital after she started experiencing extreme abdominal pain. This patient was Covid-19 suspected so the doctor noticed her unborn baby has a much lower heart rate indicating that the baby is having a limited oxygen supply. They had no choice but an emergency C-section which went smoothly. But they were stunned to find that baby was Covid-19 positive.
Testing the throat swabs from both the newborn and the mother showed that the baby contracted the virus before birth which is the first time that the world has seen it. This pregnant mother reached the Skåne University Hospital in Malmo, (Sweden) through an ambulance. She wasn’t experiencing any symptoms and the question of how the baby got Covid-19 inside the womb is very critical.
The hospital study team revealed that both mother and the baby have an identical viral genome. The baby was born through cesarean section and was immediately separated from the other, and wasn’t in close contact with any other suspected Covid-19 patient, it leaves no possibility than to assume that the baby contracted this virus in the mother’s womb.
But after a few days, further testing revealed that the presence of coronavirus particles in the baby are now different and they showed a mutated variant instead of the original coronavirus, as confirmed before.
The study team has acknowledged that it is the first case to observe a genetic change in this virus through this womb transmission of coronavirus, before birth.
Mutations in the viruses are not new, in fact, they tend to change every time. But it is surprising to see a virus mutating inside an unborn baby who contracted the original virus from the mother. Also, this mutation took only five days to show up which is an unusually less time for the typical viral mutations. This new mutation has been named A107G.
There is a possibility that these genetic variations are stimulated by the environment which this baby experienced after birth. Still, this five-day period for mutations is surprising because it has never been seen before.
Another striking thing is that the placenta changes. This placenta transports nutrients as well as blood from the mother to the fetus and is also responsible for removing the waste. In this particular case, nearly half of the placental tissue was completely damaged.
The doctors also confirmed inflammation and some coronavirus-linked proteins on the placenta and all those areas where inflammation was seen. Although the mother has made a very speedy recovery from the infection as she was discharged within four days of delivery. The baby is still at the hospital admitted to the neonatal care center. This baby was premature at the time of birth as this C-section was performed in the 34th week of the mother’s pregnancy.