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Study From United States Suggests COVID-19 Cannot Be Transmitted Through Breast Milk

The study, which was published in the online edition of JAMA was conducted by the researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and University of California Los Angeles

Study From United States Suggests COVID-19 Cannot Be Transmitted Through Breast Milk
Highlights
  • The COVID-19 study examined 64 samples of breast milk
  • Samples were collected from 18 women across the United States
  • All 18 women were infected with Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)

California: Answering the critical question of whether COVID-19 can be transmitted through breast milk or not, a recent study suggests that breast milk cannot transmit the virus to the infant. The study, which was published in the online edition of JAMA was conducted by the researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and University of California Los Angeles. The study 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 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

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

Also Read: Childcare During Pandemic: Breastfeeding Or Sourcing Breast Milk From Milk Banks Is Safe With Some Precautions, Say Experts

“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, director of Mommy’s Milk Human Milk Research Biorepository and co-director of the UC San Diego Center for Better Beginnings.

Our findings suggest breast milk itself is not likely a source of infection for the infant, Christina Chambers added.

The current recommendations to prevent transmission while breastfeeding are hand hygiene and sterilising pumping equipment after each use.

“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 and a professor of paediatrics in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UC Los Angeles.

Also Read: Opinion: Breastfeeding A Must To Fortify The ‘First Thousand Days’ Of Your Baby

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, added Grace Aldrovandi.

Early breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome and obesity in children, as well as improved immune health and performance on intelligence tests. In mothers, breastfeeding has been associated with lower risks for breast and ovarian cancer, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

The researchers also mimicked conditions of the Holder pasteurization process commonly used in human donor milk banks by adding SARS-CoV-2 to breast milk samples from two different donors who were not infected.

The samples were heated to 62.5-degree celsius for 30 minutes and then cooled to 4-degree celsius. Following pasteurization, infectious virus was not detected in either sample.

Also Read: Breastfeeding Week Special: Mothers Should Continue To Breastfeed Even If They Are COVID-19 Positive, Experts Say It Is ‘Safe’

This is a very positive finding for donor milk, which so many infants, especially those born premature, rely on. Our findings fill in some important gaps, but more studies are needed with larger sample sizes to confirm these findings, said Christina Chambers.

Christina Chambers said future work will not only look at whether breast milk is free of the virus, but also whether it contains active antiviral components. For example, antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 that women may produce after exposure to the virus and then transfer to their infants through breast milk, protecting them from COVID-19.

Also Read: Precautions To Take In Times Of COVID-19 Pandemic To Safeguard Breastfeeding Babies

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

22,90,75,864Cases
19,16,26,474Active
3,27,49,574Recovered
46,99,816Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,90,75,864 and 46,99,816 have died; 19,16,26,474 are active cases and 3,27,49,574 have recovered as on September 21, 2021 at 3:56 am.

India

3,35,04,534 26,115Cases
3,09,5758,606Active
3,27,49,574 34,469Recovered
4,45,385 252Deaths
In India, there are 3,35,04,534 confirmed cases including 4,45,385 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,09,575 and 3,27,49,574 have recovered as on September 21, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,24,498 2,583

45,229 1,281

63,40,723 3,836

1,38,546 28

Kerala

45,24,158 15,692

1,67,578 6,623

43,32,897 22,223

23,683 92

Karnataka

29,68,543 677

14,386 1,025

29,16,530 1,678

37,627 24

Tamil Nadu

26,47,041 1,661

16,984 15

25,94,697 1,623

35,360 23

Andhra Pradesh

20,39,529 839

14,388 311

20,11,063 1,142

14,078 8

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,680 11

194 4

16,86,599 15

22,887

West Bengal

15,62,173 524

7,810 96

15,35,699 608

18,664 12

Delhi

14,38,517 20

379 8

14,13,053 28

25,085

Odisha

10,20,754 510

4,947 96

10,07,666 600

8,141 6

Chhattisgarh

10,05,094 38

297 7

9,91,234 43

13,563 2

Rajasthan

9,54,263 9

91 10

9,45,218 19

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,737 14

133 3

8,15,522 17

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,402 8

96 0

7,81,789 8

10,517

Haryana

7,70,746 13

340 6

7,60,598 7

9,808

Bihar

7,25,901 7

69 1

7,16,173 8

9,659

Telangana

6,63,662 208

4,991 14

6,54,765 220

3,906 2

Punjab

6,01,323 59

307 10

5,84,517 38

16,499 31

Assam

5,98,423 455

4,984 72

5,87,632 517

5,807 10

Jharkhand

3,48,125 9

55 1

3,42,937 10

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,393 11

267 6

3,35,736 17

7,390

Jammu And Kashmir

3,28,069 128

1,461 32

3,22,191 159

4,417 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,17,140 234

1,616 54

2,11,871 177

3,653 3

Goa

1,75,583 85

810 36

1,71,478 48

3,295 1

Puducherry

1,25,517 54

867 56

1,22,818 109

1,832 1

Manipur

1,18,673 178

2,183 6

1,14,658 183

1,832 1

Tripura

83,905 51

346 10

82,750 40

809 1

Mizoram

81,460 1,731

15,140 1,008

66,057 721

263 2

Meghalaya

79,667 174

1,896 5

76,391 168

1,380 1

Chandigarh

65,188 7

41 4

64,329 3

818

Arunachal Pradesh

54,126 56

410 12

53,444 67

272 1

Sikkim

30,971 16

654 59

29,937 74

380 1

Nagaland

30,907 43

467 17

29,786 59

654 1

Ladakh

20,737 7

138 4

20,392 3

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

0 1

10,666 1

4

Lakshadweep

10,359 3

8 3

10,300

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,600

13 0

7,458

129

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