A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released last month, has linked preterm births with COVID-19 infections, thereby suggesting something that doctors have been insisting for a while now, that COVID-19 can be seriously harmful for pregnant women.
Titled ‘The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report‘, it featured data from the COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET). It looked at 7,895 women between the ages 15 and 49, hospitalised with COVID-19 across 13 states in the US from March 1 to August 22, reports Health.com.
Of these women, the researchers singled out 598 who were pregnant during their hospital stay. Of them, 54.5 per cent showed no symptoms of the illness. The remaining women (45.5 per cent) were symptomatic, and in some cases, severe illness occurred; 16 per cent were admitted to intensive care units, 8 per cent required mechanical ventilation, and 1 per cent died from COVID-19, the outlet reports.
According to the researchers, it was found that COVID-19 had an impact on preterm births or births that occur before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Of 458 women discharged for completed pregnancies, 10 of them suffered from pregnancy loss, 45 pregnancies were live births, and 12.6 per cent were preterm births.
In fact, researchers suggested that symptomatic women were more likely to deliver preterm (23.1 per cent) compared to 8 per cent of asymptomatic women.
The outlet also mentions that a previous research on the topic published in the Archives of Academic Emergency Medicine, found that “COVID-19 can cause foetal distress, miscarriage, respiratory distress and preterm delivery in pregnant women”. To add to this, a report published recently in the JAMA journal talked about whether or not the infection can put women at a higher risk of delivering a preterm baby.
The researchers looked at births from two different time periods at a hospital in London — October 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020, and the pandemic year February 1, 2020 to June 14, 2020. It was found that “the incidence of stillbirth was significantly higher during the pandemic period”.
While more research needs to be done, the CDC recommends you limit your interaction with others if you are pregnant, and that others living with you under the same roof may consider doing it as well. Always wear a mask and stay away from people who do not wear one. The CDC also suggests “testing newborns birthed to mothers with COVID-19 for the virus, and isolating both mothers and newborns with COVID-19 in hospital settings, in order to keep those they come into contact with safe”.
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