New York, Jan 28: Women, take note. Contracting Covid-19 while expecting a baby can have deadly consequences, a new study suggests.
The findings suggested that the Covid-19 mortality rate was 13 times higher in pregnant mothers than in similarly aged individuals.
"We are gravely concerned that Covid-19-associated maternal deaths have been massively undercounted nationally and that the impact on pregnant patients, particularly with underlying conditions is greater than currently underappreciated," said researcher Kristina Adams Waldorf from the University of Washington in the US.
The team also found that pregnant women with Covid-19 had a 3.5 times higher Covid-19 associated hospitalization rate than the similarly aged general population in Washington state.
For the study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the research team included 240 pregnant women between March and June 2020.
Of the 240 pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection detected through June, three died from Covid-19, while 24 patients were hospitalized for Covid-19.
The three maternal deaths from the study cohort in Washington state represent 6.7 per cent of all maternal deaths associated with Covid-19 counted in the entire US through mid-October, although annual births at the collaborating sites make up only 1.4 per cent of annual births nationally, the researcher said.
The study made several comparisons between the clinical course of Covid-19 and Influenza A virus H1N1 2009.
Unlike the influenza A virus H1N1 2009 pandemic, when pregnant women were quickly identified in the US as a high-risk and vulnerable group, pregnancy was not identified as a high-risk condition for Covid-19 disease or mortality for the first critical eight months of the pandemic, the report noted.
Overall, the data in this study indicates that pregnant patients are at risk for severe or critical disease or mortality compared with non-pregnant adults, as well as for preterm birth, the report concludes.