A couple of reports released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday founds that pregnant women with coronavirus are more at risk of getting severely ill and dying from the virus and there is also an increased risk of premature delivery in those women.
In one of the reports, the researchers studied data from more than 450,000 pregnant women with coronavirus who were diagnosed with the disease between January and October. The researchers focused only on those women who were experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus. They found that pregnant women with coronavirus were more likely to be admitted to intensive care units as around 105 in 10,000 pregnant women were in need of admission to the ICU, as compared to around 40 in 10,000 who weren’t pregnant.
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The researchers also found that pregnant women with coronavirus were nearly 3 times more likely than non-pregnant women to need breathing support. Similarly, those women were also at a greater risk of needing heart and lung support. The pregnant women were also more likely to die with 15 deaths per 10,000 women, as compared to 12 per 10,000 women who weren’t pregnant.
The ethnic and racial minorities were more vulnerable to the disease. Hispanic pregnant women with coronavirus were 2.4 times more likely to die and also Asian women were more likely to need ICU admission, the researchers found. They also found that whether a woman was pregnant or not, if she was over 35 years of age, she was likely to get severely infected.
The researchers believe that the reason for pregnant women getting severely infected with the coronavirus might be because of the physiological changes in their bodies due to pregnancy, which includes a decrease in lung capacity and an increase in heart rate. The team of researchers wrote that in order to reduce the risk of death and severe illness from the coronavirus, pregnant women are needed to be properly counseled about the measures to prevent the risk of coronavirus infection and also the importance of getting proper medical care.
In the other report published earlier, the CDC researchers reviewed pregnancy outcomes of 4,442 women who were tested positive for the coronavirus. In 3,912 of those births, the researchers found that nearly 489 were preterm. In contrast, preterm births among the general population in 2019 accounted for around 102 in 1,000 births. Moreover, according to the CDC babies who are born very early are more at risk of disability such as vision, hearing, and breathing problems and also more likely to die.
Around 844 women in 1,000 who were studied in the report were tested positive for the coronavirus during their third trimester, so more research will be required to understand the impact the infection has in earlier stages of the pregnancy and also for studying the long-term effects of the virus on infants. The researchers noted that although coronavirus does severely affect newborn babies, a majority of the babies who are born with the disease, are asymptomatic or experience mild symptoms.