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Pregnant and positive | Scientists look for COVID-19 immunity in the womb

The key to unlocking immunity to COVID-19 could be found in the womb, according to some scientists.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Brianna Boriosi, 30, and her husband Marc both are considered essential employees because they work in inpatient drug and alcohol treatment services. They are now self-quarantining at home because they both tested positive for COVID-19.

What makes their case more complicated and worrisome is that Brianna is 7-and-a-half months pregnant, due June 24. Of course she immediately called her doctors.

“They told me I was their first positive pregnancy case with COVID-19 in their practice,” Brianna said.

Almost immediately after she found out she was positive she was getting calls from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.They wanted to know what the circumstances were leading up to getting infected, but also they hoped Brianna would give consent for test samples.

“Once the baby’s born, they talked about maybe taking some of the umbilical cord or the blood in there,” Brianna said. “As well as the placenta, and if I’m willing, looking into possibly donating stem cells.”

It didn’t take long for her to say yes.

“There was a possibility that the baby will either be immune or have some of these antibodies.”

While doctors believe the virus will not get passed onto her unborn child, scientists hope what they find through tests can help them to get to a vaccine and the cure.

“Anything I can do to help or donate or whatever, I’m definitely all about it.”

Her positive test could lead to keeping everyone negative for the virus in the future. Brianna wants that for their baby as well as their two-year-old son.

Because both Brianna and Marc are positive, doctors presume their son is as well. The couple is thankful that he hasn’t shown any symptoms, and they hope and pray it stays that way.

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►Contact reporter John Charlton at jcharlton@whas11.com. Follow him on Twitter (@JCharltonNews) and Facebook.

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