COVID-19 infection during pregnancy

Women during pregnancy often face several pregnancy-related complications and more susceptible to respiratory pathogens that may put them at a higher risk of adverse consequences. New study suggests that getting COVID-19 infected at this stage, therefore, may put them in further risk of occurring adverse pregnancy and newborn outcomes. Specifically, COVID-19 infection during pregnancy increases the risk of several adverse outcomes, including higher rates of cesarean delivery, low birth weight, and preterm birth.

Similar to the current COVID-19, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was reported in 2007 and showed devastating consequences if it occurred during pregnancy. Earlier diagnosis detection of COVID-19 infection through test, a clear understanding of all possible symptoms of infection during pregnancy, and proper treatment are important to combat the adverse consequences.

In this way, this study confirms that fever, cough, fatigue and breathing difficulties are the major symptoms of COVID-19 infection among pregnant women, which are similar to general infected patients. However, some additional symptoms among pregnant women are sore throat, myalgia, and poor appetite. Postpartum fever was also highly observed in women following delivery. Therefore, close monitoring of these symptoms could be an effective way of early detection of COVID-19 infection during pregnancy.

Given that no specific treatments or vaccines have been discovered yet, the COVID-19 infection during pregnancy would put healthcare providers in additional challenges. This is because of the possible adverse effects of the medicine used on the fetus as well as pregnancy. Therefore, cautions are needed in the treatment of infected pregnant women. This study revealed that most infected pregnant women were given symptomatic and supportive treatments considering pregnancy, although anti-inflammatory and antiviral treatments have been used in some cases. Significantly, this study summarized the commonly given antiviral treatments to the infected pregnant women were oseltamivir, lopinavir (400mg), and ritonavir (100mg), which are different from usually recommended medicines to treat COVID-19 in the general population. Therefore, healthcare providers may have to be careful about given antiviral treatments to infected pregnant women.

Recommended treatments such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for the infected people are not applicable for pregnant women because of their potential adverse effects on the fetus and newborn; therefore, supportive and symptomatic treatments are given to them.

Link to the paper: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.31.20049304

Editorial Disclaimer: information published during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic may be updated frequently to reflect the dynamic nature of current understanding.

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