Just 30 hours after birth, a Chinese newborn has been diagnosed with coronavirus making him the youngest case recorded so far.
The baby was born in Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, to a mother who had tested positive just before she gave birth. Scientist are unsure at what stage the virus was transmitted to the baby, whether in the womb or after birth
Only a handful of children have come down with the virus, which has killed 563 people and infected 28,018.
The state media reported that the baby, who weighed 3.25kg at birth (7lbs 2oz), has been placed in a stable condition and is being observed.
Medical experts opined that the infection must have been was contracted in the womb.
“This reminds us to pay attention to mother-to-child being a possible route of coronavirus transmission,” chief physician of Wuhan Children Hospital’s neonatal medicine department, Zeng Lingkong, told reporters.
He further noted that there is a possibility that the baby contracted the disease from close contact with the mother.
“It’s quite possible that the baby picked it up very conventionally – by inhaling virus droplets that came from the mother coughing,” Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, told Business Insider.
Only a few children have had the disease since it broke out, which is consistent with other coronavirus outbreaks in recent history including Sars and Mers.
A report by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) said the median age of patients for the current outbreak is between 49 and 56 years, adding that cases in children “have been rare”.