COVID in Pregnancy Won’t Affect Outcomes: Study

By Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, November 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Pregnant women with COVID-19 are at low risk of developing severe symptoms, just like their newborns, according to a new study.

In fact, 95% of those women have good results and only 3% of their babies test positive for COVID-19, researchers say.

“For 5% of COVID-19 positive pregnant women, however – those who get very ill – the risks to mother and baby are significant,” said lead author of the study, Dr. Emily Adhikari, medical director. of Perinatal Infectious Diseases at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

However, pregnancy itself does not appear to increase the risk of complications from COVID, she said.

“Most women with an asymptomatic or mild infection will be relieved to know that their babies are unlikely to be affected by the virus,” Adhikari said.

“By studying all pregnant women infected with COVID-19, both those who require and those who do not require hospitalization, we are able to identify that the risks to mothers are similar to those of the general population. general, ”she added.

At the start of the pandemic, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believed the risk to pregnant women was higher than to others. But the new findings should reassure pregnant women that their risk is in line with that of other groups, the researchers said.

“The initial CDC reports were very scary, but it might not be as bad as it initially seemed,” said Dr. Jennifer Wu, obstetrician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She was not part of the study, but reviewed the results.

But more data is needed to know the risk to mother and baby of transmitting SARS-CoV-2, Wu said. Babies of infected mothers should be tested for COVID-19, she added. .

For the study, Adhikari and his colleagues followed nearly 3,400 pregnant women, 252 of whom had COVID-19.

Of those who tested positive, 95% had no or mild symptoms. However, six women developed severe or critical COVID pneumonia.

Comparing women with and without COVID-19 during pregnancy, researchers found that it did not increase the risk of adverse outcomes – including preterm labor, preeclampsia, or cesarean delivery for a frequency abnormal fetal heart, Adhikari said.

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