COVID-19 Risks For Infants: Delayed Development!
Understanding COVID-19 Risks For Infants
Despite the monumental success of COVID-19 risks vaccinations and life-saving therapies, the disease remains a serious risk factor for many groups, such as elderly people and the immunocompromised.
Pregnant people also form another high-risk group in that regard, making them susceptible to a host of problems. Furthermore, these complications often extend to the baby, increasing the risk of premature birth, stillbirth, or pregnancy loss.
Now, scientists have discovered that the disease can also rampage over to the brains of unborn babies, wreaking havoc on the newborn’s development and even leading to death in some cases.
The risks of delayed development in infants due to the pandemic: Case Study
When two infants were admitted to neonatal intensive care, doctors discovered that despite testing negative for the coronavirus at birth, they still exhibited significant levels of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in their blood.
These antibodies are only produced in response to the intrusion of a foreign body inside a system. This meant that the COVID antibodies in the infants’ system either belonged to the parents and somehow managed to cross the placental barrier, or that the babies were actually infected, and we witnessed their immune systems in action.
Whatever the case, this development did not fare well for the infant pair. Both babies experienced seizures, small head sizes, and developmental delays, which are very concerning to observe at such a tender age. Tragically enough, one of the infants died at 13 months of age.
Both infants’ parents had contracted COVID-19 risks in their second trimester and recovered. Interestingly, one of the mothers also faced a repeat infection in their third trimester, which could have led to the complications witnessed in the baby later on.
“Many women are affected by COVID-19 risks during pregnancy, but to see these kinds of problems in their infants at birth was clearly unusual,” said Shahnaz Duara, senior author of the study. “We’re trying to understand what made these two pregnancies different so we can direct research toward protecting vulnerable babies.”
Examining both placentas and the brain of the infant that passed away produced shocking results. Not only did both placentas exhibit significant inflammatory changes, but a critical placental hormone crucial for fetal and brain development was also noticeably absent from the samples.
“I was struck by the unexplained severity of the loss of the white matter and the presence of features of hypoxia/ischemia in the cerebral cortex,” remarks Dr Ali G. Saad, a neuropathologist.
“We became suspicious that the virus somehow managed to breach the placental barrier to damage the central nervous system, but this had not been documented before,” he continues.
While these outcomes are indeed scary, the authors also stress that this is an infrequent occurrence. Many infected parents deliver without any devastating brain injuries inflicted on the babies.
However, it is natural for expecting parents to look at these results and be concerned. The study’s authors surmise that a maternal pre-pregnancy or pregnancy maternal COVID-19 risks vaccine should serve well as the first line of defense. In addition, breastfeeding and masking (if infected) should help as precautionary actions.
COVID-19 Caused Brain Damage In 2 Babies Who Contracted Infection In Womb
Neither of the babies tested positive for the virus, but they did have high levels of Covi antibodies in thein blood, researchers said.
US Researchers reported what they believe are the first two confirmed cases of babies born with brain damage as a result of the COVID-19 virus crossing into their mothers’ placenta.
According to Dr. Deepak Agrawal …, any viral infection during pregnancy can have a deleterious effect on the developing brain of the baby. It is for this reason that in many societies and cultures, a pregnant lady is recommended to be in isolation and avoid crowds. Bringing up a baby is a major undertaking and the parents have to act responsibly, not only after birth, but also during the pregnancy.
According to the University of Miami study, published in the journal Pediatrics, both babies were born to young mothers who had tested positive for the virus in their second trimester during the peak spread of the Delta variant in 2020 – before vaccines were available. On the day they were born, both babies suffered seizures and later suffered significant developmental delays. While one child died at 13 months, the other was placed in hospice care, the researchers said.
Neither of the babies tested positive for the virus, but they did have high levels of Covid antibodies in their blood, said Dr. Merline Benny, a neonatologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Miami, as per Reuters. She said that this suggests that the virus likely transferred from the mother to the placenta and then to the baby.
The researchers found evidence of the virus in both mothers’ placentas. An autopsy of the child’s brain who died also showed traces of the virus in the brain, suggesting direct infection caused the injuries, said Dr. Benny.
According to the study, both mothers tested positive for the virus. While one had only mild symptoms and carried the baby to full-term, the other mother was so severely sick that doctors had to deliver her baby at 32 weeks.
Dr. Shahnaz Duara, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the University of Miami, said she believed the cases were rare, but urged women who had been infected during their pregnancies to inform their children’s pediatricians to check for developmental delays. “We know that things can be fairly subtle up to seven or eight years of age until kids go to school,” she said, as per the news agency.
The researchers also urged women who were considering pregnancy to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
It is not clear whether the injuries caused during pregnancy were unique to the Delta variant of Covid or could occur with Omicron-related variants, researchers said.
Meanwhile, the study noted that previously doctors had suggested this was possible, but until now, there was no direct evidence of COVID-19 in a mother’s placenta or an infant’s brain.
This is the first time that we’ve been able to demonstrate the virus in a fetal organ with the transplacental passage,” said Dr. Michael Paidas, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Miami. “That’s why we think this is so important,” he added.
This article is published here from taken from Weather and NDTV,