In a rare case, the newborn triplets tested positive for the coronavirus a few hours after birth at a hospital in the central state of San Luis Potosí, health authorities announced Monday.
The babies, two boys and one girl, were born to a mother who tested positive for the coronavirus during pregnancy but showed no symptoms, officials at the Dr. Ignacio Morones Prieto Central Hospital said. The father also tested positive and was also asymptomatic.
The triplets were tested shortly after birth on June 17 and before breastfeeding, ruling out the possibility of transmission through breast milk.
Although all three are positive, one of the children was born with pneumonia and paralytic ileus, a condition that causes obstruction of the intestine and is receiving medical attention. Babies are kept in incubators due to their low birth weight and in isolation from other newborns.
“This unprecedented situation, from a scientific point of view, occurred where triplets were identified and their polymerase chain reaction tests were confirmed on Saturday,” said Miguel Ángel Lutzow Steiner, spokesman for the state Health Ministry.
Hospital medical personnel suspect that the babies were infected in the womb, and that the virus was traveling through the placenta. They say that a post-birth infection would need at least an incubation period of two to seven days before being detectable.
Health Minister Mónica Liliana Rangel Martínez also ruled out the possibility that the babies could have been infected in the hospital.
“What surprises us, in this case, is that the day the three babies were born tested positive for coronavirus, which rules out any possibility that they may have contracted it through a hospital infection,” he said in an interview with the newspaper. . Excelsior.
Another newborn in San Luis Potosí tested positive for the coronavirus, but in that case the test was performed two days after birth.
Mexican health authorities say this is the first time in the world that vertical transmission of the coronavirus has been suspected in a case of multiple births.
Source: El Universal (sp), Associated Press (en), BBC (en)