A study conducted by the University of New South Wales has found that five out of 139 newborns from COVID-19 infected mothers were diagnosed just hours after having been born. Others came back with positive infection results just a few days post labor.
Senior study author Dr. Nusrat Homaira, of the University of New South Wales, explains that confirming COVID-19 transmission from mother to newborn is difficult to verify in light of the fact that insufficient research has rendered matters inconclusive for the time being:
More research is needed to understand if children born to women who have COVID-19 during pregnancy have an increased risk of acquiring the infection and what the long-term outcomes are for newborns with the disease
A demographic that is at high-risk
If further research would confirm the study's theory then that would mean that maternal immunisation could become a new prioritized demographic in addition to the elderly and those working in healthcare.
The UNSW also examined 1,214 cases of children who were infected with COVID-19 and found that half were infants and half of that total were asymptomatic with only one newborn not having recovered.
Patients under the age of 5 are likelier to develop respiratory infections which is known to be one of the most common reasons as to why children end up in hospitals
Dr. Homaira explains that:
children often have asymptomatic infection, generally, and play a significant role in transmission of respiratory infections within the community. That's why immunisation programs often target the under-five age group for infections like the flu. So, we wanted to understand all those issues in light of Covid-19.
The research echoes other studies that have observed more than 90% of that target demographic having developed moderate cases of COVID-19 upon infection.