HealthDay News — If correct hygiene procedures are undertaken, perinatal transmission of COVID-19 is unlikely to occur, according to a study published online in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

Christine M. Salvatore, MD, from Komansky Children’s Hospital in New York City, and colleagues aimed to elucidate best practices regarding infection control in mother-newborn dyads and identify potential risk factors associated with transmission. All neonates born between March 22 and May 17, 2020, at 3 New York Presbyterian Hospitals to mothers positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) at delivery were identified. Mothers could breastfeed but had to wear a surgical mask when near their neonate and practice proper hand hygiene.

A total of 116 mothers tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and 120 neonates were identified. The researchers found that none of the neonates were positive for SARS-CoV-2 on testing at 24 hours of life. Eighty-two neonates (68%) completed follow-up at days 5 to 7 of life; 83% roomed in with mothers. All of the mothers were allowed to breastfeed; 78% were still breastfeeding at days 5 to 7. Repeat testing was conducted at days 5 to 7 (79 neonates) and at 14 days of life (72 neonates); none of the tests were positive. No neonates had COVID-19 symptoms.

“This finding supports the previous reports of a low risk of perinatal transmission with strict infection control practices,” the authors write.

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