Health

COVID-19 : Effects on Pregnant Women

Apr 8 2020 By Akbar Ali

Introduction

What is the effect of coronavirus among the COVID-19 pregnant women? “I am pregnant and I am COVID-19 positive. Will Coronavirus affect my baby?” These questions prove how concern everyone around us. The COVID-19 holds the lives of people standstill. Everyone is living under stress. Pregnant women, their family member and friends are very concern. They are concern about what may happen if pregnant women are suffering from COVID-19. Will the newborn also suffer from COVID-19?

Besides, people are also concerned about how to take care of a pregnant woman during coronavirus epidemic. There are also some myths in social media regarding this issue.  Wikye comes forward to investigating this issue. We indeed tried our best to go through lots of studies, cases, and theories. We believe that you will appreciate our efforts. Let’s discover our findings.

Are Pregnant Women At Greater Risk Of Coronavirus Infection?

Today there is not much information accessible to evaluate the sustainability of COVID-19 pregnant women. However, pregnant women undergo immunological and physiological changes that can make them more susceptible and at greater risk of complications from respiratory viral infections. It may turn a worse situation for COVID-19 pregnant woman, some experts think. This has been the case with previous episodes of coronavirus infections like MERS-COV or Sars-COV causing the SARS epidemic in 2003 or other respiratory viral infections such as influenza or pertussis, two diseases against which pregnant women should be vaccinated. From the past events of the SARS epidemic in 2003, we have experience on how to act in such a situation.

Since there are no any COVID-19 vaccine available, pregnant women should follow some prevention.  Some scientists are trying best to invent a vaccine. Yes, every pregnant woman should follow prevention. The prevention recommendations are to avoid infections:

  • Pregnant women must wash their hands regularly and frequently for at least 20 seconds using soaps or hand sanitizer.
  • They must avoid sick people,
  • Women must not touch their face. They should cover the nose and mouth with tissues or handkerchief while sneezing. Again they may cover nose and mouth while sneezing with the elbow if they do not have handkerchief or tissue during the sneeze.
  • They must keep their room and common objects clean,
  • They must avoid close contacts and very crowded places.

Everyone must follow this prevention. And pregnant women must not forget to follow this prevention for their own and the coming babies.

Are COVID-19 Pregnant Women At Greater Risk Of Complications From Infections?

There are still few studies that provide a clear answer to the consequences of an infection during pregnancy for mother and baby. These studies show the COVID-19 pregnant women cases. In research, it describes 18 pregnancies of women infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus (all infected in the last trimester), the symptoms in the mothers were similar to those in the other women. Of the 19 births (1 case of twins), 16 were delivered by Caesarean section, fetal distress was noted in 6 women, and 6 children were born prematurely. From these very limited data, it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions.

Extrapolating from the other cases of coronavirus infection like SARS-COV and MERS-COV during pregnancy, it would appear that these infections increase the risk of preterm delivery, miscarriage and fetal death. Also, high fevers in the first trimester of pregnancy can affect the fetus (higher risk of malformations). Hospitals are aware of these risks and implement procedures to limit the risk of infection. However, some experts advocate routine screening with the COVID-19 coronavirus. Even the Chinese authorities also recommend this routine screening.

Does The Virus Transmits To The Fetus From COVID-19 Pregnant Women?

Today, the transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus is chiefly through close contact with a diseased individual through respiratory droplets. Furthermore, there is hardly any information on the conceivable transmission of the disease from mother to baby or infant through “vertical transmission” (previously, during or after delivery). Yes, the information is not available in current studies.

Since recent cases are very limited series in the medical literature, we find a tremendous, yet at least a very positive information that no COVID-19 pregnant women transmits the infection to the infants during birth. Yes, no virus was detected nor in breast milk or amniotic fluid. For other coronavirus infections like MERS-COV and SARS-COV, data are limited. However, in this limited data, transmission vertically has not been reported. There are, however, a few reported cases of newborns testing positive for COVID-19. But none have been fully medically evaluated. So it is unclear how the infection occurred and whether it can transmit from mother to child.

The Chinese Studies On COVID-19 Pregnant Women

In the journal “Frontier in Pediatrics,” we find one study where we get information that four mothers were suffering from COVID-19. These four mothers gave birth at the Union Hospital in Wuhan during the current coronavirus epidemic. The report also informs that all these four children did not develop any symptoms related to the symptoms of coronavirus. Also, these children were okay and they were not suffering from fever or even coughing.

However, the doctors isolated them in intensive care units. Later, the doctors tested respiratory infection after the throat swabbing of the three infants. The report of such test came as negative. The fourth infant, the mother did not permit the team to test the infant. Among these three infants, one infant suffered from a slight respiratory problem for three days. Later the infants recovered. The treatment of this infant involves non-invasive mechanical ventilation. It is indeed impossible to conclude whether there is an association between these other medical problems and coronavirus.

What Are The Risks For Newborns From COVID-19 Pregnant Women?

To date, the short- and long-term risks for the infant are not known with certainty. According to one study, some children had particular symptoms (respiratory distress, cyanosis, gastric bleeding and one death), but none tested positive for infection. Keeping the child with the sick mother appears to be discouraged.

Information for other respiratory viral diseases during pregnancy (coronavirus and flu infection) has detailed impacts including low birth weight and premature delivery. What’s more, having a cold or influenza with a high fever in early pregnancy may build the danger of certain birth defects. The long-term effects are as yet unknown, beyond the long-term effects of low birth weight and prematurity.

Does The Virus Transmit Through Breastfeeding?

To date, no studies have reported evidence of the presence of the virus in the breast milk of infected women. Concerning the new coronavirus, the researchers carry out tests on the milk of 6 infected women who were all negative. 4 Extrapolating to the SARS virus, testing the breast milk of a woman who had recovered from SARS-Cov did not reveal the presence of the virus, but antibodies to the virus. Conversely, 6 other cases showed no evidence of virus or antibodies.

An American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology suggests breastfeeding the infants if the mothers are healthy and no longer likely to be infectious. Despite limited data, preliminary evidence and lessons from previous coronavirus epidemics suggest that coronavirus-COVID-19 pregnant women can have significant consequences. As such, seeking an ongoing pregnancy during management could be useful. Rapid and effective management of possible respiratory distress should be available for the follow-up of infected pregnant women.

Last but not the least, you can read another article- Did Dean Koontz Really Predict The Coronavirus In His Novel, The Eyes of Darkness?


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