Pregnancy has been consistently listed as a type II risk factor for COVID19. That is, pregnant women “might be at an increased risk for severe illness” but we aren’t sure because there is not enough evidence. Being pregnant myself during this entire pandemic, I’ve been following the evidence closely. Not much has come out yet to sway my opinion either way.
However, two days ago, scientists published an MMWR article regarding this important topic.
They used the COVID-NET surveillance database. This is a database of COVID19 related hospitalizations in 14 states (99 counties). During March 1-August 22, there were 598 pregnant patients in the registry (out of 7895 hospitalized women in the same age category): 2% were in 1st trimester; 10% in 2nd; and 87% in 3rd trimester (this DOES include those that were hospitalized because of labor and delivery).
What did they find?
- 1 in 4 women (aged 15-49) hospitalized were pregnant (compared to 5% of women in the general population are pregnant at any given time)
- 46% were symptomatic at hospital admission (1st and 2nd trimester were more likely to be asymptomatic than 3rd trimester)
- Of the symptomatic patients, 16% went to the ICU and 9% required ventilation. There were 2 deaths
- Preterm delivery was reported for 23% symptomatic women (which is higher than the general population= 10%) and 8% asymptomatic women
- 2 babies died, both of which were born to symptomatic women who required ventilation
Translation: Severe illness and adverse birth outcomes were observed among pregnant women with COVID19. Pregnant women should especially be careful during this time: avoid close contact with persons with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, maintain 6 feet of distance from non-household members, and take general COVID-19 preventive measures, including wearing masks and practicing hand hygiene.
Hang in there, mamas.
Data Source: Delahoy MJ, Whitaker M, O’Halloran A, et al. Characteristics and Maternal and Birth Outcomes of Hospitalized Pregnant Women with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 — COVID-NET, 13 States, March 1–August 22, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 16 September 2020.
Also, here is the list of high risk conditions for COVID19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html