CDC: Pregnant women with COVID-19 at increased risk for serious outcomes


Pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness and might give birth prematurely if they get COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Reports released Monday by the CDC indicate that pregnant women are at “significantly higher risk” for severe outcomes from COVID-19 compared to women who aren’t pregnant.

Still, the reports stress, the overall risks to pregnant women with COVID-19 of serious illness or pregnancy complications remain low.

That conclusion comes from an analysis of about 400,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44 who experienced symptoms of COVID-19 between January and October — 23,434 of whom were pregnant. Intensive care unit admission, ventilation, death and other serious outcomes were more likely in pregnant women than nonpregnant women, the analysis found.

About 10.5 out of 1,000 pregnant women were admitted to ICUs, compared to 3.9 out of 1,000 nonpregnant women, with adjustments made for differences in age, race, ethnicity and underlying health conditions.

“To minimize the risk for acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection, pregnant women should limit unnecessary interactions with persons who might have been exposed to or are infected,” including people within their households, the authors of the analysis wrote.

When going out or interacting with others, pregnant women should wear a mask, social distance, avoid persons who are not wearing a mask, and frequently wash their hands.”

Pregnant women with COVID-19 are also more likely to give birth prematurely than pregnant women who aren’t infected with the disease, according to the CDC.

A separate analysis published by the CDC Monday found that pregnant women with COVID-19 were at increased risk for giving birth prematurely. In a sample of 3,912 infants born to women with COVID-19 infections, 12.9 percent were preterm, compared to the national estimate of 10.2 percent in the general population. 

However, the full impact of infection in pregnancy is still “unknown,” the authors wrote.

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