COVID-infected pregnant women often face symptoms for months

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In the largest study to date of COVID-19 among non-hospitalized pregnant women, researchers analyzed the clinical course and outcomes of 594 women who tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus during pregnancy.

They found that the most common early symptoms for pregnant women were cough, sore throat, body aches, and fever. Half of the participants still had symptoms after 3 weeks and 25 percent had symptoms after 8 weeks. Findings appear Oct. 7, 2020, in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

“We found that pregnant people with COVID-19 can expect a prolonged time with symptoms,” said senior author Vanessa L. Jacoby, MD, MAS, vice chair of research in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at UCSF, and co-principal investigator of the national pregnancy study

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“The majority of participants in our study population had mild disease and were not hospitalized,” said first author Yalda Afshar, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “Even so, it took a median of 37 days for symptoms to ease.”

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“Despite the potential risks of COVID-19 for pregnant people and their newborns, there are large gaps in our knowledge on the course of the disease and the overall prognosis,” she said. “Our results can help pregnant people and their clinicians better understand what to expect with COVID-19 infection.”

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