Pregnant women are also susceptible to COVID19 infection

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By neucrad health news desk March 15, 2020

A group of doctors drew world’s attention to emerging COVID19 by publishing their findings in Journal of Infection. They focused on the pregnant COVID19 patients, with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection between December 8, 2019, and February 25, 2020 officially reported by the central government, in areas outside Wuhan, China.  “As the maternal physiologic and immune function changes in pregnancy, pregnant individuals might face greater risk of getting infected by SARS-CoV-2 and might have more complicated clinical events”, they found.

There were a total of 13 Chinese patients with SARS-CoV-2 admitted to hospitals with maternal age ranged between 22 to 36 years. Out of them, 2 women were less than 28 weeks of gestation and the other 11 patients were in their third trimesters at presentation. This report is an indication of pregnant women also being susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. Although, the clinical manifestations of the pregnant COVID-19 patients in this study varied widely from asymptomatic to very severe which are very similar to the non-pregnant patients infected with SARS-CoV-2.

 Most of the pregnant patients had mild to moderate symptoms including fever and fatigue, the principal symptoms. Less common symptoms were included as sore throat and shortness of breath. Almost all the patients had a clear epidemiologic history. One of the 13 patients developed severe pneumonia requiring ICU care with multiple organ dysfunction syndromes in the third trimester. Five patients of 13 were delivered by emergency cesarean section because of pregnancy complications including fetal distress, premature rupture of the membrane and stillbirth. Six patients had preterm labour. These perinatal complications might be arisen either with virus infection as well as the physiologic changes due to hypoxia during late pregnancy. No severe neonatal asphyxia was reported in the nine livebirths and no vertical transmission was found.

In conclusion, their report showed pregnant women are also susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Importantly, SARS-CoV-2 may increase health risks to both mothers and infants during pregnancy. “Efforts should be taken to reduce the infection rate of SARS-CoV-2 both in pregnant and perinatal period, and more intensive attention should be paid to pregnant patients”, they suggested.

Reference: Clinical manifestations and outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy. Yangli Liu, Haihong Chen, Kejing Tang, Yubiao Guo Journal of Infection, In presss, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jinf.2020.02.028

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