Newborn tests positive for novel coronavirus hours after birth in China

Just 30 hours after being born, Chinese officials have confirmed that a newborn has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), state media has disclosed.

The babe was born on Sunday, February 2, in Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly outbreak which has killed over 565 people and infected 28,018 more to date.

The child has become the youngest person to have contracted the disease, after the mother had tested positive for the coronavirus before giving birth.

Medical officials are viewing it as a case of vertical transmission, whereby infections are passed from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or immediately following labour.

On Monday (Feb. 3), Xinhua News noted that a baby born to an infected mother last week, tested negative; making the likelihood of vertical transmission low, at least for now.

The oldest person to have been confirmed with 2019-nCoV is a 90-year-old woman, the Chinese national health commission indicated – a statistic in keeping with the mortality rate, which has noted that 80 per cent of patients that have died from the disease being aged 60 or older.