Published time:05 June 2020
Authors: Sonja A. Rasmussen, MD, MS; Denise J. Jamieson, MD, MPH
Keywords: Pandemic, pregnancy, SARS-CoV-2, newborns.
Since its recognition in China in December 2019, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has rapidly spread throughout the world and become a pandemic. Although considerable data on COVID-19 are available, much remains to be learned about its effects on pregnant women and newborns.
No data are currently available to assess whether pregnant women are more susceptible to COVID-19. Pregnant women are at risk for severe disease associated with other respiratory illnesses (eg, 2009 H1N1 influenza), but thus far, pregnant women with COVID-19 do not appear to be at increased risk for severe disease compared with the general population. Data from China showed that among 147 pregnant women, 8% had severe disease and 1% had critical illness, which are lower rates than observed in the nonpregnant population (14% with severe disease and 6% with critical illness). Case series from China consisting primarily of women with third-trimester infection have shown that clinical findings in pregnant women are similar to those seen in the general population.1 Conversely, a small Swedish study reported that pregnant and postpartum women with COVID-19 were 5 times more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit compared with nonpregnant women of similar age.
Caring for Women Who Are Planning a Pregnancy, Pregnant, or Postpartum During the COVID-19 Pandemic