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SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Hospitalized Pregnant Women: Reasons for Admission and Pregnancy Characteristics – Eight U.S. Health Care Centers, March 1-May 30, 2020

Pregnant women might be at increased risk for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), possibly related to changes in their immune system and respiratory physiology* (1). Further, adverse birth outcomes, such as preterm delivery and stillbirth, might be more common among pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (2,3). Information about SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy is rapidly growing; however, data on reasons for hospital admission, pregnancy-specific characteristics, and birth outcomes among pregnant women hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infections are limited. During March 1-May 30, 2020, as part of Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD)† surveillance of COVID-19 hospitalizations, 105 hospitalized pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection were identified, including 62 (59%) hospitalized for obstetric reasons (i.e., labor and delivery or another pregnancy-related indication) and 43 (41%) hospitalized for COVID-19 illness without an obstetric reason. Overall, 50 (81%) of 62 pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection who were admitted for obstetric reasons were asymptomatic. Among 43 pregnant women hospitalized for COVID-19, 13 (30%) required intensive care unit (ICU) admission, six (14%) required mechanical ventilation, and one died from COVID-19. Prepregnancy obesity was more common (44%) among pregnant women hospitalized for COVID-19 than that among asymptomatic pregnant women hospitalized for obstetric reasons (31%). Likewise, the rate of gestational diabetes (26%) among pregnant women hospitalized for COVID-19 was higher than it was among women hospitalized for obstetric reasons (8%). Preterm delivery occurred in 15% of pregnancies among 93 women who delivered, and stillbirths (fetal death at ≥20 weeks’ gestation) occurred in 3%. Antenatal counseling emphasizing preventive measures (e.g., use of masks, frequent hand washing, and social distancing) might help prevent COVID-19 among pregnant women,§ especially those with prepregnancy obesity and gestational diabetes, which might reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Authors: Panagiotakopoulos, Lakshmi; Klein, Nicola P; Weintraub, Eric S; et al.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Sep 23;69(38):1355-1359. Epub 2020-09-23.

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