TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Most pregnant women with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection are asymptomatic, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in PLOS ONE.
Sheela Maru, M.D., M.P.H., from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and colleagues conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional study involving pregnant women admitted to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York, from March 29 to April 22, 2020. A total of 126 obstetric patients were screened for SARS-CoV-2.
The researchers found that 37 percent of the patients were positive for SARS-CoV-2. Seventy-two percent of those who tested positive were asymptomatic at the time of testing. Compared with those who tested negative, patients who tested positive were more likely to be Hispanic and report Spanish as their primary language (unadjusted difference, 24.4 and 32.9 percentage points, respectively).
"This study is instructive for other labor and delivery units and hospitals across the world as we continue to refine pandemic preparedness," Maru said in a statement. "In future epidemics, it may be prudent to look at labor and delivery screening numbers much earlier on, as pregnant women continue to seek essential care despite social distancing measures and also represent the general young and healthy community population."