An Israeli hospital said on Saturday that a fetus stillborn from a woman infected with the coronavirus was also found to be carrying the virus. It was the second such reported instance in Israel.
The hospital said it could not currently link the virus to the death itself.
The woman, infected with COVID-19, was in the 36th week of her pregnancy when she arrived at the hospital over the weekend after feeling ill, Hebrew media reports said.
In the case last week, the hospital said there was a high probability that the fetus had died from COVID-19 complications.
“The fetus was infected through the placenta and with a very high degree of certainty, [we can say] died due to coronavirus,” Dr. Tal Brosh, head of the Infectious Disease Department at the Assuta Hospital in Ashdod, told the Ynet news site.
Dr. Yossi Tobin, the director of the maternity ward at the hospital, agreed that because the fetus was infected in utero, it was probable that the death was caused by the coronavirus.
“It was an intrauterine infection of the fetus, which can cause placental infection and death,” Tobin said. “This is a rare occurrence because a baby is usually infected with coronavirus after birth, as a result of contact with the mother. The fact that we were able to find out that they were already positive in the womb indicates a high probability that [the fetus] died as a result of coronavirus.”