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S Ellington, P Strid, VT Tong, K Woodworth, RR Galang, LD Zambrano, J Nahabedian, K Anderson and SM Gilboa
Abstract
As of June 16, 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in 2,104,346 cases and 116,140 deaths in the United States.* During pregnancy, women experience immunologic and physiologic changes that could increase their risk for more severe illness from respiratory infections (1,2). To date, data to assess the prevalence and severity of COVID-19 among pregnant U.S. women and determine whether signs and symptoms differ among pregnant and nonpregnant women are limited. During January 22-June 7, as part of COVID-19 surveillance, CDC received reports of 326,335 women of reproductive age (15-44 years) who had positive test results for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Data on pregnancy status were available for 91,412 (28.0%) women with laboratory-confirmed infections; among these, 8,207 (9.0%) were pregnant. Symptomatic pregnant and nonpregnant women with COVID-19 reported similar frequencies of cough (>50%) and shortness of breath (30%), but pregnant women less frequently reported headache, muscle aches, fever, chills, and diarrhea. Chronic lung disease, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease were more commonly reported among pregnant women than among nonpregnant women. Among women with COVID-19, approximately one third (31.5%) of pregnant women were reported to have been hospitalized compared with 5.8% of nonpregnant women. After adjusting for age, presence of underlying medical conditions, and race/ethnicity, pregnant women were significantly more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) (aRR = 1.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2-1.8) and receive mechanical ventilation (aRR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.2-2.4). Sixteen (0.2%) COVID-19-related deaths were reported among pregnant women aged 15-44 years, and 208 (0.2%) such deaths were reported among nonpregnant women (aRR = 0.9, 95% CI = 0.5-1.5). These findings suggest that among women of reproductive age with COVID-19, pregnant women are more likely to be hospitalized and at increased risk for ICU admission and receipt of mechanical ventilation compared with nonpregnant women, but their risk for death is similar. To reduce occurrence of severe illness from COVID-19, pregnant women should be counseled about the potential risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and measures to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 should be emphasized for pregnant women and their families.
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