Observed Complications of COVID 19 on newborns
Covid 19 is a dangerous RNA virus infection which has created a pandemic in the whole world since 2020. Unfortunately it created a huge death toll. During pregnancy the immunity of the mothers gets decreased and naturally they also contract the infection and the worse part is that during this time many antiviral treatments are contraindicated. So the unborn infants pose the greatest risk.
Babies under the age of one year might be at higher risk of severe infection than older children as their immune system is immature; airway is smaller which makes them more likely to develop breathing issues with respiratory virus infections.
Though the maternal to fetal transport of virus is limited due to unknown reason, the new-borns can become infected with the virus during childbirth or by sick caregivers post-delivery.
But post-delivery separation of the baby from the mother is more harmful than good and in one recent study published in Lancet showed that by analysing the risk and benefits, it is better to keep the babies with their mothers as it can prevent their neonatal death and lifelong complications, up to 125000babies lives can be saved with full kangaroo mother care specifically for preterm new born.
In one Spanish study, it is found that COVID during pregnancy can increase the chance of early preterm delivery in 4% and late preterm delivery in 17 % cases, though 95% cases, new-borns turn out to be negative but chances of complications are more. It is not clear that these complications are due to maternal COVID or something else.
In these babies, there are more chances of developing respiratory distress, pneumonia, severe metabolic acidosis, severe thrombocytopenia, shock, seizures, periventricular leucomalacia, hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy, birth asphyxia.
All these problems can lead to complication in later years and these babies may have a developmentally challenged life. May be in future more studies can help us with a detailed insight.