Just 30 hours after birth, a Chinese newborn was diagnosed with the new coronavirus, making the baby the youngest infected person so far. The baby’s mother tested positive to the virus as she was delivered of her baby on 2 February in Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus. Infection in children is quite rare with only a handful of the infected 28,000 reported cases being in children.
State media outlet Xinhua reported news of the infection late on Wednesday.
It added that the baby, who weighed 3.25kg at birth (7lbs 2oz), was now in a stable condition and under observation. Medical experts believe the child became infected from the womb. “This reminds us to pay attention to mother-to-child being a possible route of coronavirus transmission,” chief physician of Wuhan Children Hospital’s neonatal medicine department, Zeng Lingkong, told Reuters. But it is also possible that the baby was infected after birth from having close contact with the mother.
“It’s quite possible that the baby picked it up very conventionally – by inhaling virus droplets that came from the mother coughing,” Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, told Business Insider.