Pregnant Women Contracting COVID-19 at Higher Risk of Severe Complications, CDC Reports
Two new studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that pregnant women who contract COVID-19 are more likely to experience severe complications compared to other women and may face premature delivery.
In one study, pregnant women were found to have a higher likelihood of ICU admission and receiving invasive ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation to support their heart and lungs.
The researchers also discovered that pregnant women with COVID-19 have a 70% increased risk of death, particularly those between the ages of 35 and 44. Moreover, Black women accounted for a disproportionate number of deaths associated with pregnancy and overall COVID-19 mortality.
The study data was collected between January 22 and October 3, involving approximately 400,000 women with symptomatic COVID-19, all aged between 15 and 44.
Another CDC study found that pregnant women with COVID-19 not only faced a higher risk of virus-related complications but also an increased risk of preterm birth and pregnancy loss.
This second analysis included 3,912 babies born to women with SARS-CoV-2 between March 29 and October 14. Nearly 13% of the babies were premature, a higher number than the national estimate of 10.2%.
Among the 610 babies tested, 2.6% tested positive for COVID-19, with most of these infants born to mothers infected during childbirth.
Eight of the babies with a positive COVID-19 test were born prematurely and admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit.
“As most pregnant women with COVID-19 have reported infection by the third trimester so far, ongoing surveillance is needed to assess the effects of infection early in pregnancy, as well as the longer-term outcomes of exposed infants,” the CDC stated.
Pregnant women need to be informed of their heightened vulnerability to the virus and the potential risks to their babies, enabling them to take appropriate precautions. It is especially crucial to limit unnecessary interactions with individuals who may have been exposed or infected with COVID-19, the federal agency added.