COVID-19 in pregnancy - premature birth common
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A new study conducted by researchers, suggests that while having coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during pregnancy has little effect on fetal or neonatal mortality, it can be associated with premature birth and sometimes severe outcomes for mother and baby, including death. The systematic literature review found that the majority of neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 did not test positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and among four who did test positive, no evidence of vertical (mother to infant) transmission was observed.

However, the study did find that premature birth was common and that complications included small size for gestational age, low birth weight, and asphyxia. Most infants born to mothers with COVID-19 were asymptomatic. Still, among those who did have symptoms, the most common clinical manifestations were shortness of breath, gastrointestinal problems, respiratory distress syndrome, and fever. In one case, a newborn died due to gastric bleeding.

Among mothers, common symptoms included shortness of breath, cough, fever, and myalgia, and the majority had pneumonia. Adverse pregnancy outcomes included premature rupture of membrane, pre-term labor, fetal distress, post-partum fever, and stillbirth. Researchers recommend that pregnant women with COVID-19 and their newborns are carefully monitored, and that infected mothers are quarantined to prevent passing SARS-CoV-2 onto their babies.