The newly identified 2019-nCoV, which appears to have originated in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei province in central China, is spreading rapidly nationwide. A number of cases of neonates born to mothers with 2019-nCoV pneumonia have been recorded. However, the clinical features of these cases have not been reported, and there is no sufficient evidence for the proper prevention and control of 2019-nCoV infections in neonates.
The clinical features and outcomes of 10 neonates (including 2 twins) born to 9 mothers with confirmed 2019-nCoV infection in 5 hospitals from January 20 to February 5, 2020 were retrospectively analyzed.
Among these 9 pregnant women with confirmed 2019-nCoV infection, onset of clinical symptoms occurred before delivery in 4 cases, on the day of delivery in 2 cases, and after delivery in 3 cases. In most cases, fever and a cough were the first symptoms experienced, and 1 patient also had diarrhea. Of the newborns born to these mothers, 8 were male and 2 were female; 4 were full-term infants and 6 were born premature; 2 were small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infants and 1 was a large-for-gestational-age (LGA) infant; there were 8 singletons and 2 twins. Of the neonates, 6 had a Pediatric Critical Illness Score (PCIS) score of less than 90. Clinically, the first symptom in the neonates was shortness of breath (n=6), but other initial symptoms such as fever (n=2), thrombocytopenia accompanied by abnormal liver function (n=2), rapid heart rate (n=1), vomiting (n=1), and pneumothorax (n=1) were observed. Up to now, 5 neonates have been cured and discharged, 1 has died, and 4 neonates remain in hospital in a stable condition. Pharyngeal swab specimens were collected from 9 of the 10 neonates 1 to 9 days after birth for nucleic acid amplification tests for 2019-nCoV, all of which showed negative results.
Perinatal 2019-nCoV infection may have adverse effects on newborns, causing problems such as fetal distress, premature labor, respiratory distress, thrombocytopenia accompanied by abnormal liver function, and even death. However, vertical transmission of 2019-nCoV is yet to be confirmed.