DOH verifying breast milk benefit vs coronavirus

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 29 2020 11:11 AM

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The Department of Health said Tuesday it would review a new study by Chinese scientists that mother’s milk could prevent or treat COVID-19. 

A research team in Beijing tested the effect of human breast milk on cells exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The milk was collected in 2017, well before the start of the pandemic, and the cell types tested varied from animal kidney cells to young human lung and gut cells, according to a report by the South China Morning Post. 

The results were the same: most living virus strains were killed by the milk.

The breast milk was “blocking viral attachment, entry and even post-entry viral replication,” the team led by Professor Tong Yigang from the Beijing University of Chemical Technology wrote in two non-peer-reviewed papers posted on biorxiv.org on Friday.

"We will be reviewing this further," said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire. 

Breast milk protects infants from certain diseases, she noted. 

The latest study supports the World Health Organization’s official stance that mothers should continue to breastfeed even if they have COVID-19.

The global health body tracked 46 COVID-19 breastfeeding their children in several countries through June. 

Viral genes were detected in the milk of 3 mothers but there was no evidence of infection. Only one child tested positive and transmission through other means could not be ruled out, the South China Morning Post reported. 

ANC, Sept. 29, 2020