Study: Pregnant women with coronavirus don’t experience more severe illness than others as they do with SARS, flu

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In this picture taken on March 31, 2020, an expectant mother rests her hands upon her baby bump as she speaks with AFP in Hong Kong. – (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) / TO GO WITH Hong Kong-China-Indonesia-Philippines-health-virus-pregnancy, FOCUS by Liz THOMAS, Yan ZHAO (Photo by ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)

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A majority of pregnant women who are diagnosed with coronavirus don’t experience more severe illness than the general population, according to a new study.

They also don’t seem to pass the infection on to their babies.

A study of 43 pregnant women diagnosed with the virus in New York was published Monday in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The study took place over a two week period from March 13 to 27.

About 80% of study participants, 37 women, experienced a mild form of the disease while four, about 15%, developed more severe forms, the study said. Two of those women, accounting for 5% of the study, experienced “critical disease,” according to the study.

“Of the 29 symptomatic COVID-19 positive women, 25 (86.2%) were stable for discharge home, with normal vital signs, no need for supplemental oxygen, and no clinical indication for imaging or treatment,” the study said. “None of the antepartum women required oxygen supplementation upon admission.”

No babies included in the study seemed to be infected based on testing performed immediately after they were born, either.

This is in stark contrast to how pregnant women reacted to SARS and H1N1 during previous pandemics. Pregnant women were more susceptible to both diseases, had more serious complications from those illnesses and had a greater chance of dying than the general population, the study said.

The study concluded that additional research needs to be completed in order to understand the true magnitude of the risks in pregnant women.

Additionally, the authors of the study suggest that hospitals test any pregnant woman admitted to protect patients, families and medical providers. The recommendation came after 14 women who participated in the study and showed no symptoms of the coronavirus either developed them during the admission to the hospital or were detected after hospitals began administering tests to all obstetrical admissions, according to the study.

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