The following is the summary of “Clinical Characteristics, Transmission Rate and Outcome of Neonates Born to COVID-19-Positive Mothers: A Prospective Case Series From a Resource-Limited Setting” published in the January 2023 issue of Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal by Rood, et al.

There is a lack of information about babies born to moms who tested positive for coronavirus illness (COVID-19) during pregnancy, despite the fact that this infection could cause placental harm. This case series aims to investigate clinical features, transmission rate, and outcomes at 3 months of age among neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 identified near delivery time. Suriname prospective multicenter case series. Clinical information on infants born to moms infected with COVID-19 was gathered between June and August. Researchers collected COVID-19 swabs between 5 days and 2 weeks postnatally. After 3 months, we did a follow-up interview.

About 18 newborns were included in the study. But among those mothers, 18/18 (100%) were infected during the third trimester, 10/18 (55.6%) had a severe case of COVID-19 infection requiring admission to the intensive care unit, and 2/10 (20%) died. 17 out of 18 (77.8%) newborns were delivered by cesarean section, and 13 out of 18 (72.2%) were born prematurely (median 35 weeks, Interquartile range 32 + 4-38 + 0). 17% (18/48) newborns required admission to a neonatal critical care unit. 12 of the 18 (66.7%) had respiratory symptoms; 5 of the 18 (27.2%) were suspected of early-onset sepsis; and 1 of the 18 (5.5%) had late-onset sepsis. There was a case of necrotizing enterocolitis in a premature infant. 

One out of every 18 neonates (5.5%) had a positive nasopharyngeal swab result within the first 5 days of life, but none of the 11 (0.0%) had a positive result more than 2 weeks into life. 2 out of 14 individuals (14.3%) were found to have a modest neurodevelopmental delay after follow-up. Researchers conclude that a significant number of extremely unwell moms experienced cesarean delivery and premature babies due to COVID-19 infection. When compared with neonates born to moms who tested negative for COVID-19 during pregnancy, the clinical course and follow-up findings looked identical for these infants. Preterm birth and cesarean section both pose dangers to newborns that can be mitigated with maternal immunization.