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Texas mother opens up about passing COVID-19 to newborn

The CDC says more than 3,000 pregnant women in the country have been hospitalized because of COVID-19
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 11:45 AM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) -A mother from Texas is opening up about passing the coronavirus to her newborn baby.

The case is one of the few documented cases around the world of COVID-19 transmission between a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

Wendy Figueroa couldn’t touch or hold her baby because she had tested positive for the virus right before giving birth.

Within 24 hours, baby, Alexa tested positive as well.

Figueroa says being separated from her fourth child was the hardest part of their journey, which doctors say might be the first U.S. case of COVID transmission from mother to unborn baby.

Wendy gave birth six weeks early, but doctors say Alexa was otherwise healthy until the day after when she began showing signs of fever and respiratory distress.

Dr. Moreno says, "We have enough evidence in her case that the virus was passed from mom to baby while baby was still inside."

Moreno says transmission from mother to fetus is possible but rare.

At Parkland, more than 170 COVID-positive women have given birth.

Five infants have tested positive.

New testing protocols will help track the trends, but the challenge is treatment.

Moreno says, "Typically women sometimes are excluded from these trials because people are afraid of risks to the baby, so at this moment, all of the institutions doing research are very aware that they need to include women and pregnant women in these studies."

That is why current guidance for pregnant includes prevention measures like wearing masks and frequent hand washing.

Wendy relied on virtual visits during Alexa's three-week hospital stay but now, two months later, both are home and happy to be COVID free.

The CDC says more than 3,000 pregnant women in the country have been hospitalized because of COVID-19 but according to doctors most pregnant women make full recoveries.

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