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A baby was just born with coronavirus immunity – BGR

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Nov 30, 2020
  • A baby was born with COVID-19 antibodies that might offer protection against infection with the novel coronavirus.
  • The baby’s mother survived a mild case of COVID-19 in March, while she was 10-weeks pregnant.
  • The mother’s SARS-CoV-2 antibodies disappeared, but doctors discovered that the boy was born with circulating antibodies.

According to recent estimates, the novel coronavirus is at least one-year-old, and that’s counting just the time it has been infecting humans. There’s no telling how old the virus might be and how long it evolved in animals before jumping to people. We still don’t know which animals allowed it to mutate so it could infect human cells, but there’s hope that question will be answered.

Even though it’s already been around for a year, the virus continues to surprise the scientific community. Researchers keep finding out new ways the virus impacts the human body, including unexpected symptoms like teeth falling out without any pain or bleeding. The latest surprise hails from Singapore. A mom who survived the illness back in March during the first trimester of her pregnancy gave birth to a healthy, COVID-free baby boy six months later. But this newborn has something other babies born from infected moms do not: Coronavirus antibodies that might give him COVID-19 immunity.


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Doctors have studied pregnancy in relation to COVID-19 from the early months of the pandemic, finding that it’s unlikely for mothers to pass the illness to their babies. But mothers have never been observed passing COVID-19 antibodies to their babies either.

Celine Ng-Chan, 31, went on a trip to Europe in March with her parents, daughter, and husband. Only the females of the group were infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Choy Wai Chee, Ng-Chan’s mother, got a severe case and spent 29 days on a life support machine. Celine and her 2-year-old daughter Aldrina were mildly ill and were discharged from the hospital after 2.5 weeks, according to Straits Times.

At the time of her diagnosis, Ng-Chan was 10 weeks pregnant. She developed antibodies, but they vanished until the end of her pregnancy according to tests. She gave birth to her son Aldrin on November 7th, a 3.5kg healthy boy who was COVID-free.

But the doctors found that the child had circulating antibodies for the virus.

“It’s very interesting. His pediatrician said my Covid-19 antibodies are gone, but Aldrin has Covid-19 antibodies.” the mother told Straits Times. ”My doctor suspects I have transferred my Covid-19 antibodies to him during my pregnancy.”

Aldrin might not necessarily be the first newborn to inherit antibodies from his mother. A 29-year-old woman tested positive during her 36th week of pregnancy in March. Her baby was born at the same hospital and was also found to have circulating COVID-19 antibodies.


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A spokesman for the hospital said that babies born from coronavirus survivors are assessed comprehensively by a team of doctors. Maternal and umbilical cord blood is processed using PCR tests, and so far, all mother-newborn pairs had tested negative. It’s unclear how many women have given birth after being infected during pregnancy.

The more interesting question about Aldrin’s immunity concerns B and T cells. As recent studies have shown, COVID-19 immunity is quite promising in people who survive the disease. Regardless of how long the antibodies last, the B and T white blood cells seem to have a much longer life, and they could provide even better than expected protection against reinfection. Scientists have conservative expectations about coronavirus immunity in general, expecting it to last up to a year, just like other immunity to other human coronaviruses.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he’s not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

 

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