In what is believed to be an unprecedented case, newborn triplets in Mexico have tested positive for COVID-19, and experts are investigating whether they were infected with the mother’s placenta during pregnancy, according to a report.
Two of the babies, a boy and a girl, were in stable condition at a hospital in the state of San Luis Potosí, but a second child is being treated for respiratory illness, the BBC reported.
The contagion in multiple births had not previously been detected anywhere in the world, said a spokesman for the state’s Health Safety Committee.
A very small number of newborns are known to be infected after birth, but health officials said they did not believe that was what happened in the case of the triplets, who were born prematurely on Wednesday.
They all tested positive for the coronavirus on the day of their birth.
“It would be impossible for them to have been infected at birth,” said the Secretary of State for Health, Monica Liliana Rangel Martínez, the BBC reported.
Her parents, who may have been asymptomatic, are being examined for the bug, which has infected more than 185,000 people and killed 22,584 in Mexico, according to the media outlet.
Infection among newborns is unusual, but not unknown.
Babies can contract the disease after birth if they have close contact with someone who is already infected. It could also be transmitted in the uterus through the placenta.
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine recently reported the first known case of placental infection, according to the BBC.
When an infection occurs, the risk to mother and baby is often low, and there is no evidence that the virus causes a miscarriage or affects the way a baby develops during pregnancy, but some reports suggest it could. increase the probability of premature births.