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Madrid, May 22 . .- The University Hospital of La Paz (Madrid) has registered a possible case that suggests the vertical transmission of COVID-19 from mother to child during pregnancy, a type of infection that has hardly been reported. reported cases in the scientific literature.

This was explained to Efe Television by the head of the Neonatology Unit of the La Paz Hospital, Adelina Pellicer, who indicated that during this pandemic, several cases of the disease in newborns have been registered in her hospital due to environmental contact.

Furthermore, Pellicer has reported a case “of which one could speak of vertical transmission by the positivity sequence in the newborn.”

Mother-to-child transmission, where it occurs, is mostly caused by close contact between them after birth.

In the case of vertical intrauterine transmission, this has been defined as the determination in the newborn of a positive test in the placenta, amniotic fluid, umbilical cord blood or nasopharyngeal and / or oropharyngeal swabs of the newborn through a PCR performed immediately after birth.

“There are some cases reported in the scientific literature,” said Pellicer, who, however, pointed out that the symptoms of the coronavirus in babies “seem to be of little relevance” and its evolution does not reach the degrees of severity seen in other populations.

Yes, there have been cases of newborns who have had to be admitted to the hospital after being discharged and infected with SARS-CoV-2 and receiving specific treatment, but the evolution has been very favorable, he said.

During these months, in La Paz all children born to mothers who had tested positive for COVID-19 or who were under investigation have undergone PCR. “Until it was confirmed whether the newborn was positive or not, we kept them in a specific area to avoid contact with other babies of negative or non-sick mothers.”

Currently, all mothers who give birth to the hospital are screened to confirm whether they are infected or not, and the percentage of positive cases has decreased markedly in recent days.

The treatment for babies – Pellicer indicates – is hydroxychloroquine -as in adults-, in the defined doses and with the duration of the established treatment.

La Paz has had to change its functioning during this crisis and mothers now spend less time in the hospital after the baby is born; only 24 hours, so it has also been necessary to create a circuit setting up a 48-hour home visit system by the midwives to practice the heel metabolic test.

Despite all these changes, Pellicer argues that after checking the statistics, no greater use of the emergency services by newborns has been observed, nor a higher rate of admissions. “We are very satisfied because it has worked very well,” he said.

“The evolution of patients in terms of health criteria is very favorable, because we have not seen more morbidity and with the current trends of promoting bonding, staying mother and child with the family together as soon as possible at home, we are really attending to two needs very efficiently and we are very satisfied, “he said.

On the other hand, the Foundation for Biomedical Research in La Paz is leading a study on breastfeeding in the transfer of possible protective factors against COVID-19.

“What we intend to demonstrate is that breastfeeding in mothers with COVID-19 disease is a safe procedure and, in parallel, to know if through breastfeeding we achieve advantages for the newborn through the transfer of immunological factors,” he explained.

It has a budget of just over 60,000 euros and currently they have collected more than a thousand samples.

This is a multi-center study, but focused on the Community of Madrid, in which public and private network hospitals also participate, specifically on October 12 and hospitals of the Quirón Salud group.