A pregnant woman infected with the monkeypox virus has delivered a healthy baby in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC said this was the first reported case in the US, of a pregnant woman being infected with the virus.
“There has been a case of a pregnant woman who delivered,” the CDC’s Dr. John Brooks told a webinar hosted by the Infectious Disease Society of America, according to a CBS News report.
Brooks said the baby did not appear to have contracted the disease from their mom during the pregnancy, as has been reported during some previous outbreaks abroad. CDC officials said the newborn was given an infusion of immune globulin, an antibody treatment which the agency has permission from the Food and Drug Administration to deploy during monkeypox outbreaks, the report added.
According to the report, a 2017 study of four pregnant women with monkeypox in the Democratic Republic of the Congo saw two result in miscarriages and one foetal death. Smallpox, monkeypox’s more lethal cousin, had also been linked to potentially higher severity in pregnancy before it was eradicated.
Data regarding monkeypox infection in pregnancy are limited and it is unknown if pregnant people are more susceptible to monkeypox virus or if infection is more severe in pregnancy, CDC said.
“Monkeypox virus can be transmitted to the foetus during pregnancy or to the newborn by close contact during and after birth. Adverse pregnancy outcomes, including spontaneous pregnancy loss and stillbirth, have been reported in cases of confirmed monkeypox infection during pregnancy. Preterm delivery and neonatal monkeypox infection have also been reported. The frequency and risk factors for severity and adverse pregnancy outcomes are not known,” CDC said.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are now more than 16,000 reported monkeypox cases from 75 countries and territories, and five deaths.
Monkeypox virus is an orthopoxvirus that causes a disease with symptoms similar, but less severe, to smallpox. Monkeypox is a zoonosis: a disease that is transmitted from animals to humans. Cases are often found close to tropical rainforests where there are animals that carry the virus. Evidence of monkeypox virus infection has been found in animals including squirrels, Gambian poached rats, dormice, different species of monkeys and others, WHO said.