(STUDY FINDS) -- NEW ORLEANS — Here’s a reason pregnant women may want to carry around an extra bottle of hand sanitizer. For the first time ever, a team of researchers have proven that the common cold is capable of infecting cells derived from human placentas. This discovery, according to the research team at Tulane University, suggests that it may be possible for the cold virus to pass from mother to unborn child.
“This is the first evidence that a common cold virus can infect the human placenta,” explains study leader Dr. Giovanni Piedimonte in a release. “It supports our theory that when a woman develops a cold during pregnancy, the virus causing the maternal infection can spread to the fetus and cause a pulmonary infection even before birth.”
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The placenta passes along food and nutrients from mother to developing fetus, all while filtering out any harmful pathogens. While medical science has long believed that the placenta was essentially impenetrable to harmful substances, more recent research has illustrated that it is indeed possible for certain viruses, such as Zika, to slip by and make contact with the fetus.