Does breast milk hold the key for COVID-19 from spreading to next generation? Let’s start with some known statistics.
The fatality rate is higher for older Men compared to younger women !
For comparison, below is the data provided by New York City Health as of April 14. It can be noted that the absolute number of deaths of patients without underlying conditions was actually higher in this earlier report compared to the May 13 one, signaling the data has been since corrected and revised downward.
Also the fatality rate among male patients is 2.8% while in females its only 1.7 %. While other factors like smoking and exposure (like spending more time in crowded and open areas) etc that are also influenced culturally (48.2% of males smoke while only 1.9% of females smoke in China) play a role, the current data suggests a possible resistance to this virus from women more than from men.
Data provided by New York City Health as of April 14, for known sex of deceased.So men are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than Women. Click To Tweet
Pregnant mothers don’t seem to pass the virus on to fetuses
In a study done on 38 pregnant women, it is revealed that COVID-19 did not lead to maternal deaths. Importantly, there were no confirmed cases of intrauterine transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from mothers with COVID-19 to their fetuses. All neonatal specimens tested, including placentas in some cases, were negative by RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2.
At this point in the global pandemic of COVID-19 infection there is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 undergoes intrauterine or transplacental
transmission from infected pregnant women to their fetuses. Analysis of additional cases is necessary to determine if this remains true.
The samples of amniotic fluid, cord blood, breast milk, and neonatal throat swabs tested negatively for coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
Though the evidence here is promising, the researchers point out that the study is small and more research is necessary before they can conclude if intrauterine infection is possible or not.Seems like Pregnant women and their newborns are immune to COVID-19 ! Click To Tweet
The infection appears less severe in children
Based on all 72,314 cases of COVID-19 confirmed, suspected, and asymptomatic cases in China as of February 11, a paper by the Chinese CCDC released on February 17 and published in the Chinese Journal of Epidemiology.
Children 9 years or younger, irrespective of gender, had 0 fatality rate! Also, a newborn baby born with coronavirus recovers without medication after 17 days.
Mother passes their antibodies to her unborn baby
It’s known fact that, antibodies from the mother are passed to her unborn baby through the placenta. This type of immunity is called passive immunity because the baby has been given antibodies rather than making them itself. Antibodies are special proteins that the immune system produces to help protect the body against bacteria and viruses.
The amount and type of antibodies passed to the baby depends on the mother’s immunity. For example, if the mother has had chickenpox, she will have developed immunity against the condition and some of the chickenpox antibodies will be passed to the baby. However, if the mother hasn’t had chickenpox, the baby will not be protected.
Breastfed babies are less likely to get gastrointestinal illnesses that cause diarrhea and vomiting. They also have a lower rate of respiratory infections and ear infections when compared to children who receive formula.
More research is needed
More study needs to be done to confirm the above hypothesis, but Pregnant women, new mothers and children seem to be most resistant to the COVID-19 virus. More data is needed, but based on the observations so far mother’s milk and the automatic spikes in immunity from pregnant mothers could be researched further to start working on prevention of spreading COVID-19 in children.Breast milk could be next generation's shield from COVID-19 Click To Tweet
Note: The article was updated with new statistics from it’s original from same author written on Feb 20th 2020.
Breast Milk Studied As Potential Coronavirus Treatment
According to a Frobes article published on April 24, 2020 Dr. Rebecca Powell, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is actively gathering breast milk to study the antibodies.
She put out an online call for volunteers in early April and says she’s been inundated with responses—right now there are about 900 women involved and she expects that number will continue to grow.
“If I see high levels of antibodies in the milk, it could be acted on fairly quickly,” she says. “I’m trying to work through the understanding of that with the FDA about how milk antibodies fit into emergency approval for therapeutics.”Lactating mothers interested in participating in the research may contact Dr. Powell for further information: [email protected] Click To TweetRecommend0 recommendationsPublished in