Newborn Tests Negative After First-Time Mother Gets COVID-19 Ahead of Due Date

A baby in California tested negative for COVID-19 after her mother contracted the disease ahead of the birth earlier this year.

The child's first-time mom, Rachel Collette, has now opened up about the "emotional rollercoaster" she endured after contracting the infectious respiratory illness roughly six months ago—as the ongoing coronavirus outbreak was spreading rapidly.

Collette revealed her personal experience after taking part in a University of California San Francisco (UCSF) study that found COVID-19 symptoms for pregnant people can be prolonged, lasting two months or longer for some participants.

In the days before giving birth to her daughter, Collette said her symptoms consisted of a dry cough, a sore throat and a headache. Luckily, she said those eventually subsided and her child had tested negative after being born at hospital.

"Definitely that whole week leading up to giving birth was an emotional rollercoaster. Because it was the end of March, beginning of April, there still wasn't that much information, there were still so many unknowns," Collette told KRON4.

According to data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there have been more than 25,300 cases of pregnant patients with COVID-19 in the U.C., logged between January 22 and October 6. Of that number, over 5,899 people were hospitalized. It is estimated at least 44 pregnant patients have died.

The CDC noted one study suggested pregnant people with COVID-19 are more likely to be hospitalized or need mechanical ventilation than nonpregnant people, but it warned the "risk of death is similar for both groups [and] much remains unknown."

Speaking to KRON, Collette said her daughter, who is six months old, is healthy. Collette was one of 594 women who shared her insights with the academic study this year, the largest to date analyzing COVID-19 among non-hospitalized pregnant women.

The findings, now published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, suggested the most common early symptoms for pregnant women were cough, sore throat, body aches and fever.

It said half of the participants still reported COVID-19 symptoms after three weeks and approximately 25 percent appeared to still show symptoms after eight weeks.

"We found that pregnant people [who have] COVID-19 can expect a prolonged time with symptoms," senior author Vanessa Jacoby, UCSF vice chair of research in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, wrote in the report.

The project—officially known as the Pregnancy Coronavirus Outcomes Registry—is now ongoing in the U.S., where the virus is still circulating. It was launched March 22.

It has found a loss of taste or smell was the first symptom in six percent of the pregnant women, while 60 percent of women had no symptoms after four weeks of illness.

"The majority of participants in our study population had mild disease and were not hospitalized," said author Yalda Afshar, PhD, an assistant professor in the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

"Even so, it took a median of 37 days for symptoms to ease. Despite the potential risks of COVID-19 for pregnant people and their newborns, there are large gaps in our knowledge on the course of the disease," she added "Our results can help pregnant people and clinicians better understand what to expect with COVID-19 infection."

Pregnant person (stock)
The child’s mother, Rachel Collette, opened up about the “emotional rollercoaster” she endured after contracting the infectious respiratory illness roughly six months ago—as the coronavirus outbreak was spreading globally. Anastasiia Chepinska/Unsplash