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Baby allegedly born with coronavirus antibodies prompts closer look at virus’s impact on pregnancy

Singapore is taking a closer look at the impact coronavirus may have on pregnancy after reports surfaced that a woman infected with COVID-19 gave birth to a baby who tested positive for the antibodies.

The woman, identified in reports as Celine Ng-Chan, reportedly gave birth to a healthy boy in early November. The baby, named Aldrin, was born at National University Hospital and was deemed free of COVID-19 infection at birth, according to the Straits Times.

The mother of two told the news outlet she contracted the virus after returning from a trip in March and was diagnosed at just 10 weeks pregnant. She experienced mild illness, according to the news outlet, and was discharged from the hospital in 2.5 weeks.

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Although she no longer has the antibodies herself, she said her doctors suspect she transferred them to her son while pregnant.

“It’s very interesting,” she told the news outlet. “His pediatrician said my COVID-19 antibodies are gone, but Aldrin has COVID-19 antibodies. My doctor suspects I have transferred my COVID-19 antibodies to him during my pregnancy.”

It’s also not clear whether the boy is protected against the virus or for how long he will be. 

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As such, public hospitals in Singapore are taking a closer look at the virus’s potential impact on pregnancy.

“It is still unknown whether the presence of these antibodies in a newborn baby confers a degree of protection against COVID-19 infection, much less the duration of protection,” Tan Hak Koon, chairman of the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, told Reuters.