Newborn Triplets Diagnosed With COVID-19 When Their Parents Tested Negative

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt Eric T. Sheler

While COVID-19 is new, sometimes we think we know a few things about it. Like, if we wash our hands, social distance and wear a face mask, we should be protected, right? It turns out that we still have a lot to learn. 

On June 17, 2020, Mexican triplets were born prematurely at Ignacio Morones Prieto Central Hospital in the Mexican state San Luis Potosí. The parents welcomed 2 boys and 1 girl into the world.

The state’s health protocol requires premature babies to be tested for COVID-19. The babies were tested the same day they were born, and they all tested positive. In an interesting turn of events, the parents were also tested for COVID-19, and their results were negative.

Currently, the parents can only visit with their new babies through video calls, but thankfully, the babies seem to be doing well.

Health Secretary Monica Rangel said during a news conference, “The triplets we are monitoring are stable. They are evolving favorably. One of them continues using an antibiotic, but they are doing well. We hope this continues so they can be reunited with their parents soon.”

We can only imagine how hard it must be for the parents to be separated from their babies.

The big question is how the babies got COVID-19. Rangel said, “It would be impossible for them to have been infected at the moment of birth.” She believes that it’s possible that the virus was transmitted to the babies through the placenta.

“What we need to look at is a situation where perhaps [the virus] is being transmitted through the placenta. That’s not something that we can be sure of. Those are theories that we have to look at. It’s a new virus. There still is not literature available internationally on this issue, but it will be worth reviewing.”

Health authorities are looking at several other ways the babies could have possibly contracted the novel coronavirus. For example, they are investigating to see if it could have been possible for the babies to get COVID-19 from the mother’s breastmilk.

There are currently just under 200,000 coronavirus cases in Mexico and 23,377 deaths. 

The unusual case of the triplets with COVID-19 proves there is still a lot to learn about how the virus is transmitted. Rangel said, “Now that we have the negative result of the PCR [polymerase chain reaction] tests done on both parents, the case it’s even more relevant, not only for the investigation our doctors in the state are doing but for the worldwide research on the behavior of the virus itself.”

How do you think the triplets got the coronavirus? Does it surprise you that the parents tested negative?