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Understanding the effect of Covid-19 on pregnant women incomplete: Lancet Report

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on August 12, 2020 Published on August 12, 2020

This may result in them getting marginalised, the report said

According to a new report published in the journal Lancet, understanding the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on pregnant women, fetuses, and infants is incomplete. Hence, they may get marginalised when it comes to getting vaccinated against the virus.

The study noted that during the 2009 influenza A H1N1 pandemic, pregnant women accounted for 5 per cent of US deaths, while representing only 1 per cent of the US population.

The study said that a meta-analysis of mainly small case series reported that a high proportion of women with confirmed Covid-19 infection had preterm birth (<37 weeks (22 per cent)) and Cesarean delivery (48 per cent).

Estimated rates of admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) among pregnant women (7 per cent) were higher than those of non-pregnant women (4 per cent). Around 1.9 per cent of infants born to these women tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

The study revealed that the data is focused on symptomatic women with confirmed infection. However, this might underestimate the rates of admission, since many individuals are asymptomatic.

Hence, many important questions remain unanswered. This includes the extent of asymptomatic or mild infection, and the effect of Covid-19 on miscarriage, intrauterine fetal growth restriction, congenital anomalies, long-term growth, and neuro-developmental outcomes.

The authors of the study further suggested that pregnant women should be considered as candidates for preventative measures, of which vaccination is the gold standard.

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Published on August 12, 2020
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