- 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.
“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.
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.
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.
(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 (Water, Sanitation 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 pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.
|Jammu And Kashmir|
|Dadra And Nagar Haveli|
|Andaman And Nicobar Islands|
Leaving No One Behind
Delhi’s Northwest District Launches 4-Day COVID Vaccination Drive For Transgender People
Activists say misinformation, lack of proper documents and digital divide are to be blamed for the low vaccination coverage in...
5.22 Per Cent Transgender Persons Vaccinated Till Now; Activists Say Misinformation, Lack Of Digital Knowledge Adding To Their Problems
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also requested states to organise separate mobile COVID-19 vaccination centres or booths...
Discrimination And Barriers Make Access To Quality Healthcare A Challenge For Many Transgenders
Transgender individuals have specific healthcare needs; however, they face multiple obstacles to accessing quality health care ranging from social stigma...
Uttar Pradesh’s First Transgender-Only Toilet Built In Varanasi
According to an official at the municipal corporation of Varanasi, the operation and maintenance of the toilet complex has been...
Mental Health Explained: What Is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?
PTSD is an intense physical and emotional response to thoughts and reminders of the event: CDC, United States
How Can Parents Support Children Dealing With Mental Health Issues Like Anxiety And Depression
Remember, a change in a child’s behaviour like mood swings and angry outbursts is an indication of inner turmoil, said...
Upward Trend In Suicide Cases: How Can You Identify Red Signals In Time?
Studies show that suicide is the leading cause of death among 15-29 year old in India. What compels young adults...
Each COVID-19 Surge Poses A Risk For Healthcare Workers: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The surging Delta variant is heaping on fresh trauma as the United States and other nations begin to study Post-Traumatic...
Depression Can Be Classified As Serious Illness In Context Of COVID-19 Pandemic: Gujarat High Court
The Gujarat High Court set aside the cancellation of registration and admission of an engineering student by a government college...
Opinion: Climate Change Is A Healthcare Emergency
Injuries and deaths due to extreme weather events are likely to increase manifolds as a result of climate change
Promises Of Climate Finance, Low-Cost Tech Transfer To Developing Nations Must Be Fulfilled: India
According to Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, climate justice requires that the promises of climate finance and low-cost technology transfer...
U.N. Says World Likely To Miss Climate Targets Despite COVID Pause In Emissions
There is now a 40 per cent chance that the average global temperature in one of the next five years...
Make The Choices That Help Make A Difference, John Kerry, Special US Envoy On Climate Change Crisis
In an exclusive interview with NDTV, US climate envoy John Kerry talks about climate change emergency