Effect of coronavirus on pregnant women

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are zoonotic which means they can transfer from animals to humans. Coronavirus can cause many kinds of diseases ranging from the common cold to the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans but its genetic setup resembles the SARS up to 96%. 

In a review study about the coronavirus family, it has been found that 12 pregnant women were infected with SARS. Among these pregnant women, 57 % of women had a miscarriage in the first trimester and 40 % of women had fetal growth restriction. About 80 % of women had preterm birth delivery. 25% of women infected with SARS Coronavirus died during childbirth. In a study on pregnant women infected with MERS coronavirus, it has been found that 91% presented with adverse outcomes and 57 % neonates required admission to the intensive care unit. Two neonates were prematurely delivered and the mother had severe respiratory failure. 

There is limited information on the novel coronavirus currently but considering the similarities in the genetic makeup of novel coronavirus (2019 n-CoV) seems to have a similar pathogenic potential. When women get pregnant her immune system also changes which makes her more sensitive to respiratory infections therefore it is important to get vaccinated against influenza and whooping cough. The studies suggested that scientists are not aware of any respiratory virus that can reach the fetus. 

The common symptoms of coronavirus are infection in the respiratory tract, fever, cough, shortness of breathing or difficulties in breathing. In severe cases coronavirus can cause kidney failure, pneumonia, acute respiratory failure and sometimes even death. Standard recommendations to prevent infections to spread include:

  1. Regular hand washing and maintain good hygiene. 
  2. Covering mouth and nose while coughing 
  3. Avoid non-vegetarian food. 
  4. Avoid physical contact with those who show symptoms of infections like coughing and sneezing. 
  5. Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth with unclean hands. 

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