A Chinese team of doctors has confirmed the birth of a baby with the new coronavirus that has emerged in China.
|First baby diagnosed with Coronavirus (nCoV), 2020.|
The mother of the newborn had been diagnosed with the virus, so this case increases the possibility that the virus can be contracted in the womb.
The baby's vital signs are stable, and although he has no fever or cough - two symptoms of the disease - doctors confirmed that he is having difficulty breathing.
The Children's Hospital in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the epidemic, also revealed details of a second case of an infant who was born healthy on January 13 and began showing symptoms on January 29.
His caregiver and mother had been diagnosed with the virus, Reuters reported.
"We cannot say at this time whether it was the nanny who passed the virus to the mother and the mother passed it on to the baby. But we can confirm that the baby was in close contact with patients infected with the new coronavirus, indicating that newborns may also be infected," said the head doctor of the center's neonatal medicine department, Zeng Lingkong, according to Reuters.
The new coronavirus has already caused 490 deaths in mainland China as of Feb. 5, where there are already at least 24,300 confirmed cases.
|Doctors at Wuhan Children's Hospital say that pregnant women infected with the new coronavirus can pass it on to their children before they are born. GETTY IMAGES, Coronavirus 2020.|
The virus continues to spread abroad: at least 25 nations have confirmed cases and although there have only been two deaths so far, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a global health emergency.
Authorities in Hong Kong have further tightened restrictions on travel from mainland China, with all visitors from the mainland being subject to mandatory quarantine starting Saturday.
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities continue to restrict long-distance travel and are asking more and more people in some cities not to leave their homes.
State-controlled media report that President Xi Jinping has praised the "positive effect" he believes prevention measures are having and said he is "confident" that they will be able to defeat the coronavirus in Wuhan.