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Pregnant women with COVID-19 might be at increased risk for severe illness

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SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Pregnant women with COVID-19 might be at increased risk for severe illness compared to women who are not pregnant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with state, local, and territorial health departments and external partners to learn more about COVID-19 during pregnancy. 

While much remains unknown, an MMWR study analyzed approximately 400,000 women aged 15–44 years with symptomatic COVID-19 and found that pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus.

The study found that pregnant women are more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit, receive invasive ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

Additionally, the study found that pregnant women are at increased risk of death compared to nonpregnant women.

According to the CDC, pregnant women with COVID-19 might be at increased risk for other adverse outcomes, such as preterm birth.

The CDC says that infections causing COVID-19 in newborns born to mothers with COVID-19 are uncommon.

While some newborns have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 shortly after birth, it's unknown if these newborns got the virus before, during, or after birth from close contact with an infected person.

Most newborns who tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 had mild or no symptoms and recovered. However, there are a few reports of newborns with severe COVID-19 illness.

Preterm (less than 37 completed weeks gestation) birth and other problems with pregnancy and birth have been reported among women who tested positive for COVID-19 during pregnancy. It is unknown whether these problems were related to the virus that causes COVID-19.

The CDC recommends taking extra precautions during and after pregnancy. You can read more about the recommendations and the risks here.

Community / Coronavirus / Safety / San Luis Obispo County / Santa Barbara - South County / Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County
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Genelle Padilla

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