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Pregnant women might be more at risk for severe illness with COVID-19, new study suggests

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new report that suggests pregnant women might be at risk

In this Thursday, May 7, 2020 file photo, a pregnant woman wearing a face mask and gloves holds her belly as she waits in line for groceries with hundreds during a food pantry sponsored by Healthy Waltham for those in need due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, at St. Mary’s Church in Waltham, Mass
In this Thursday, May 7, 2020 file photo, a pregnant woman wearing a face mask and gloves holds her belly as she waits in line for groceries with hundreds during a food pantry sponsored by Healthy Waltham for those in need due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, at St. Mary’s Church in Waltham, Mass. On Thursday, June 25, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its list of which Americans are at higher risk for severe cases of COVID-19, adding pregnant women and removing age alone as a factor.
Charles Krupa, Associated Press

Pregnant women who are infected with the novel coronavirus might be more likely to suffer from severe illness or die from COVID-19, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC found pregnant women with coronavirus might need intensive care, ventilation and heart and lung support compared to women who are not pregnant.

  • The risk of severe illness or death remains low for the novel coronavirus, CNN reports.

Dr. Denise Jamieson, chair of the gynecology and obstetrics department at Emory University School of Medicine, told CNN that the new research suggests there is growing evidence that COVID-19 can negatively impact pregnant women.

  • “It also demonstrates that their infants are at risk, even if their infants are not infected, they may be affected,” Jamieson said.

Flashback:

Back in September, a study from the CDC found a link between preterm deliveries and the novel coronavirus, as I wrote for the Deseret News. The study, which was published in JAMA, tracked miscarriages and stillbirths from patients with the coronavirus.

  • The study found 12.6% of 445 births from patients with COVID-19 were preterm deliveries — a number that is 25% higher than the normal rate of preterm delivery.
  • Ten patients experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth.
  • The study noted that “hypertension in pregnancy may have been underdiagnosed during the pandemic as women had fewer face-to-face antenatal visits. Other possible explanations include change in referral patterns with more high-risk women referred to St. George’s Hospital or chance due to the short time frame of the study.”