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COVID Infected Mothers Won’t Transmit Virus Through Breastfeeding, Study Finds

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The latest research has shown that COVID-positive breastfeeding mothers don’t seem to pass the virus onto their children. The study is published in Pediatric Research on Tuesday. According to the research, few recently infected mothers retained genetic material from the virus that causes Covid-19 in their breast milk. In addition, “no clinical evidence” has proven that breastfed infants got infected by their COVID-positive mothers.

The study was conducted at the University of California. The allotted team took samples of hundred and ten lactating mothers for analysis. These women donated their milk to Mommy’s Milk Human Milk Biorepository at the University of California, San Diego between March and September 2020. Out of them, 65 women were COVID-positive, while 9 are symptomatic but tested negative. However, 36 mothers were not tested although they have symptoms. The genetic material of COVID was found in the breastmilk of 7 women. Among them, 6%, had the infection or reported symptomatic.

The second breastmilk sample of the confirmed seven women was taken after a set interval of time. The samples did not contain any SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Moreover, no infectious SARS-CoV-2 genetic material (SgRNA, the virus replicator) is present in the seven breastmilk samples.

Surprisingly, no clinical evidence of infection is reported in the infants who were breastfed by the seven mentioned mothers with SARS-CoV-2 RNA in their milk.

According to the lead author Paul Krogstad, “ There was also “no clinical evidence” to suggest infants got infected when breastfed by a mother with Covid-19, breastfeeding is not likely to be a hazard.”

The researchers are still pondering on the results as fewer samples were collected for the study. Many other factors could contribute to the presence or absence of the virus in the breastmilk which still has to be addressed.