Pregnant women with COVID-19 'significantly more likely' to be hospitalized - CDC

The CDC added that there also may be a higher risk of pregnant women with COVID-19 developing pregnancy complications, such as a preterm birth.

Pregnant woman (Illustrative) (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Pregnant woman (Illustrative)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
Pregnant women may be at an increased risk for developing a "severe illness" after contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC added that there also may be a higher risk of pregnant women with COVID-19 developing pregnancy complications, such as an early birth.
"Based on what we know at this time, pregnant people might be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people," the CDC said. "Prevention of COVID-19 should be emphasized for pregnant women and potential barriers to adherence to these measures need to be addressed."
The statement follows a study the CDC completed on 326,335 women aged 15-44 with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infections. Among the 91,412 women who listed their pregnancy status, 8,207 (9%) were pregnant. The data was collected electronically between January 22 and June 7 through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, which the CDC noted was part of COVID-19 surveillance efforts,.
Within the study they found that pregnant women were "significantly more likely" to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and be put on a ventilator than women who were not. However, only sixteen (0.2%) COVID-19 related deaths among pregnant women were recorded in the study.
"Among women with COVID-19, approximately one third (31.5%) of pregnant women were reported to have been hospitalized compared with 5.8% of non-pregnant women," the CDC study stated. "Among reproductive-age women with SARS-CoV-2 infection, pregnancy was associated with hospitalization and increased risk for intensive care unit admission, and receipt of mechanical ventilation, but not with death."
Chronic lung disease, diabetes and cardiovascular disease were listed as the main causes for hospitalization.
The CDC noted symptoms also differ between pregnant and non-pregnant women with COVID-19. While cough and shortness of breath were reported in similar frequencies, pregnant women reported less headaches, muscle aches, diarrhea, a fever or the chills.
This is how pregnant woman can keep themselves safe and healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak:
Refrain from skipping prenatal care appointments. Limit interactions with the public and others as much as possible. Take extra precaution to prevent themselves from contracting COVID-19 when interacting with others. Hold at least a 30-day supply of medicines and discuss with a healthcare provider about how to stay healthy and virus-free during the pandemic.
Additionally, the CDC notes that pregnant women should seek medical attention immediately if they feel they are experiencing a medical emergency, and they should try and reduce stress brought on by fears and anxieties that may become more prevalent during the coronavirus pandemic by learning coping techniques to deal with these mental flare-ups.