There have been many speculations that women who are pregnant might be at a higher risk of severe COVID19. Well, now, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed it by adding another guideline for coronavirus on its website. The agency has said that pregnant women are at an increased risk of severe COVID19 as compared to those who are not pregnant. Scientists from the CDC have looked at the data of 400000 women in the age range of 15 to 44 years. All of them have been diagnosed with symptomatic COVID19 infection. Experts have said that pregnant women are more likely to be in the intensive care unit. They are at a higher risk of being on ventilators and heart-lung machines as well, compared to other women. The report has found that pregnant women have been at a higher risk of dying due to the disease.
The new study has shown that 10.5 per 1000 pregnant women have been admitted to the ICU as compared to 3.9 1000 women who are not pregnant. Women who are expecting have been three times more likely to be on an invasive ventilator as compared to non-pregnant women. The CDC officials have said that women during the pregnancy need to be properly counseled about the risk of severe side effects of COVID19 including death. The agency has published another study, which has included nearly 3912 newborns of those women, who have been infected with COVID19. Experts have revealed that 12.9 percent of these infants have been preterm born, which is before 37 weeks of pregnancy. This statistic is greater than the national estimate, which is 10.2 percent. Experts have urged healthcare providers to counsel pregnant women to take measures to prevent the infection.
Scientists have explained why pregnant women are at an increased risk of severe illness due to COVID19. They have said that pregnancy prompts significant changes in the respiratory process, it triggers a lower threshold for medical attention. Experts have said that pregnancy reduces the functioning of the immune system as well. It can make pregnant women vulnerable to all types of infections. Women who are expecting have a lower lung capacity, which puts them at a higher risk of severe complications linked to COVID19. However, the reason behind the prevalence of preterm delivery due to COVID19 is quite unclear; experts believe it might be due to increased levels of inflammation in the body, which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.