Covid-positive pregnant women’s symptoms may persist for months, says study

Prashasthi Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on October 10, 2020

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25% of women who participated in the study had symptoms that lasted for 8 weeks

A new study suggested that Covid-19 positive pregnant women may get the symptoms that persist for months even after having a mild infection.

The study was published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynaecology. It found that out of around 600 pregnant women who participated in the study, 5 per cent of them were hospitalised and 2 per cent of them ended up in intensive care units.

However, 25 per cent of the participants continued to experience symptoms that lasted for eight weeks after contracting the virus. The median length of symptoms was 37 days.

Co-principal investigator Vanessa Jacoby, Vice-Chair of Research in the obstetrics, gynaecology, and reproductive sciences department at the University of California at San Francisco, said that the results are shocking as pregnancy leads to significant changes to the immune system.

She said in the study: “We know in most studies in the general population that if you have mild Covid-19, usually your symptoms go away within the first one to two weeks. But that is not what we found if you are pregnant.”

For their study, the researchers examined 594 pregnant women who had contracted Covid-19 between March and July this year.

Diverse cohort

The cohort was diverse, with 60 per cent white women, 31 per cent Latina, and 9 per cent Black. These women had a cough, followed by a sore throat and body aches.

The findings also revealed that only 12 per cent of women had fevers as among their first symptoms. That’s a significant difference from the general population infected by the virus, for whom fever is a prevalent initial symptom.

Other initial symptoms included the loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, a runny nose, sneezing, nausea, a sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, and dizziness.

The study noted that 52 per cent of the participants demonstrated no symptoms after being sick. By the fourth week, that number had increased to 60 per cent. By the eighth week, 75 per cent of participants were asymptomatic.

The researchers will track these women for a year after their deliveries to know about the after-effects of the infection on both mother and the child.

Published on October 10, 2020

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