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COVID-19 Infection Not Tied to Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

7 percent of mothers delivering at large county health system tested positive, as did 3 percent of tested infants

pregnancy and vitamins

TUESDAY, Nov. 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 infection during pregnancy does not appear to be associated with adverse maternal or neonatal outcomes, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in JAMA Network Open.

Emily H. Adhikari, M.D., from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues assessed maternal and neonatal outcomes among women who delivered from March 18 through August 22, 2020, at Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas. The analysis included 3,374 pregnant women (mean age, 27.6 years; 75 percent Hispanic; 18 percent Black) tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

The researchers found that 252 women tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and positivity was more common among Hispanic women. For the composite primary outcome (preterm birth, preeclampsia with severe features, or cesarean delivery for abnormal fetal heart rate), there were no differences noted based on COVID-19 status (relative risk, 0.94; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.73 to 1.21; P = 0.64). Six of 188 tested infants had early neonatal SARS-CoV-2 infection and were primarily born to asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic women. Of the women testing positive, 95 percent presented with either no symptoms or mild symptoms and 3 percent developed severe or critical illness. A total of 14 women (6 percent) were hospitalized for COVID-19.

"We suspect that the 5 percent rate of severe or critical COVID-19 illness in pregnancy reflects communities with widespread transmission, much of which may go undetected," the authors write.

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