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Dr. Keerthana Ramesh
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Coronavirus: Can breast milk transmit COVID-19 to infants

24 August 2020

In another development related to the transmission of coronavirus, a recent study by American researchers have found that the COVID-19 can not be transmitted to the infant through breast milk.

The study, which was published in the online edition of JAMA and conducted by the researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and University of California Los Angeles, examined 64 samples of breast milk collected by the Mommy's Milk Human Milk Research Biorepository from 18 women across the United States infected with the deadly virus.

Although one sample tested positive for viral RNA, subsequent tests found that the virus was unable to replicate, and thus unable to cause infection in the breastfed infant.

"Detection of viral RNA does not equate to infection. It has to grow and multiply in order to be infectious and we did not find that in any of our samples," said Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH, co-principal investigator of the study, professor of paediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine, as reported by news agency ANI.
"In the absence of data, some women infected with SARS-CoV-2 have chosen to just not breastfeed at all," said Grace Aldrovandi, MD, co-principal investigator of the study, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, adding that "We hope our results and future studies will give women the reassurance needed for them to breastfeed. Human milk provides invaluable benefits to mom and baby”.

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