A baby in China tested positive for the deadly 2019 novel coronavirus less than 48 hours after being born, hospital officials told the state-run Xinhua News Agency on Wednesday.
The infant was born Sunday to a mother who had previously tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Xinhua. The agency reported the case is believed to be the first in which a mother has transmitted the viral infection to a child.
After the infection was confirmed, doctors at the Wuhan Children Hospital warned that pregnant woman infected with the coronavirus might be able to pass it to their unborn children, Reuters reported, citing state broadcaster CCTV.
The coronavirus has claimed hundreds of lives since officials first identified it in December 2019. More than 490 people have since died of the infection in China, according to the World Health Organization. Over the weekend, officials confirmed the first coronavirus death outside of China in the Philippines.
The 2019 novel coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China, a city with a population topping 11 million. It's since spread to two dozen other countries, including the United States and Canada.
In the U.S., 12 people have been confirmed as having been infected with the coronavirus: six in California, two in Illinois, one in Massachusetts, one in Arizona, one in Washington and one in Wisconsin.
The World Health Organization has declared coronavirus a global health emergency. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended travelers “avoid all nonessential travel to China” as the virus continues to spread.
Health officials recommend that any people who have recently traveled to Wuhan and subsequently experienced flu-like symptoms -- including fever, coughing, shortness of breath or a sore throat -- contact their health care providers.