Effects of coronavirus on pregnancy still mostly unknown, Canadian researchers say

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Clinicians and epidemiologists don’t yet know much about COVID-19 and pregnancy, says the leader of a newly formed national network that’s aiming to fill in those gaps.

Effects of Coronavirus on Pregnancy

“We scoured the literature and found a real limited amount of information, of course, at the beginning, from China and a little bit more from Europe,” said Dr. Deborah Money, a professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of British Columbia’s faculty of medicine.

That early information ranged from “quite dreadful predictions of what might happen to much more benign,” said Money, who is a sub-specialist in reproductive infectious diseases.

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She’s heading up the new network of physicians and researchers that is examining maternal and infant outcomes among pregnant women who fell ill with COVID-19.

She said every province and territory has signed on to work with local public health departments and collect data.

“We’re actually hoping to collect every single, solitary, identified COVID-19 positive pregnancy, regardless of when it happened, and collect it through the evolution of the pandemic,” Money said in an interview on Friday.

They’re focused on variables including the mother’s age, the age of the fetus at the time of her COVID-19 infection, the severity of the infection and whether the mother required hospitalization or intensive care treatment. They are also looking at what happens during delivery and whether the mother chooses to breast feed, as well as the newborn’s weight, Money explained..

“We have not seen a high rate of transmission in that setting. So, super careful close quarters like that seem to be reasonably safe,” she said.

She said research is ongoing, but clinicians believe that’s also the case for the novel coronavirus.

“The babies, for the most part, appear to be well,” she said.

“We are early days and we must add a degree of caution around that until we fully follow those infants out longer term. But generally speaking, we’re being very reassuring.”

News Reference Global News

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