Can pregnant women transmit coronavirus to their babies? SoCal medical expert explains

A study out of Italy regarding pregnant women found signs of the coronavirus in several samples of umbilical cord blood, the placenta and in one case, breast milk. Dr. Anthony Cardillo helps explains these findings.
A new study suggests pregnant women can transmit COVID-19 to their babies.

Dr. Anthony Cardillo, CEO of Mend Urgent Care, joined ABC7 to discuss further.

Researchers said that a small study of pregnant women found signs of the virus in several samples of umbilical cord blood, the placenta and in one case, breast milk. Should pregnant women be concerned about passing the virus to their babies?
"This is a study coming out of Italy. We do know that viruses, like HIV and Zika, do cross the placental barrier, so some viruses do, most viruses don't however. But in the small study of pregnant women that were infected, they did find viral particles in the placental blood, as well as the umbilical blood, and some in one case actually in breast milk," said Cardillo. "It's almost like finding DNA at a crime scene, it's not really a live person, it's just the genetic material."

Cardillo says the most important thing pregnant patients need to do is focus on staying healthy and follow all protocols during the pandemic to prevent infection. He also said that pregnant women should not be panicking about this study. He pointed out that we do not know the full scope of the study conducted in Italy, saying further studies must be done to look at the blood of pregnant woman and their babies' blood.

Another new study found a significant increase in what's known as "broken heart syndrome" due to COVID-19. Can you describe what that is, and how it could be linked to the coronavirus?
"It happens when someone has a very large emotional event that happens in their life and the massive amount of adrenaline released from your adrenaline glands actually causes the heart to become dysfunctional. You go into cardiac failure," said Cardillo. "All of these stressful circumstances revolving around this virus, they are finding can be leading to heart failure in susceptible patients. So the most important thing here is for everyone to really try to relax during this difficult time."

Ask the Doctor: "Would it help to fan ourselves so as to move the air around us?," asked Patricia in Ventura.
"I wouldn't do that because as you're fanning yourself you're actually pulling air in. Okay and remember most of us are not wearing N95 masks when out and about, just surgical masks. So that air, if you're pulling it in, can go behind the mask and go inside," said Cardillo. "The best thing you should do is make sure people around you are within 6-feet."

Cardillo says we need to keep in mind that someone just walking around breathing normally is not going to transmit coronavirus, it has to be something forceful, like a cough or sneeze, that could spread the virus. So if you see someone coughing or sneezing, do not walk into that space.

Watch the full interview in the video above

Coronavirus: Here's what pregnant women should know about the illness

EMBED More News Videos

Some expectant mothers are wondering if they should be any more concerned about coronavirus than the general public.



Pregnant woman survives COVID-19 after receiving plasma
EMBED More News Videos

Many pregnant woman around the world have expressed their anxieties on having to deliver during the pandemic.



Pregnant women use virtual visits with doctors during pandemic
EMBED More News Videos

Expectant mothers take home a doppler that monitors the fetal heart rate and cuffs that take mom's blood pressure.

Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.