The study, published today in JAMA Network Open, shows that 95 percent of women who tested positive for COVID-19 during pregnancy had no adverse outcomes. Additionally, the study found that the virus was transmitted to the fetus in just 3 percent of the cases.
Our findings are that approximately 5 percent of all delivered women with COVID-19 infection develop severe or critical illness. Five percent is a major concern when a pandemic is making its way through a population; however, it’s lower than previous reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” says Emily Adhikari, M.D., an obstetrician, gynecologist, and first author of the study. “Most women with asymptomatic or mild infection will be relieved to know that their babies are unlikely to be affected by the virus.”
The researchers set out to measure how COVID-19 infection impacts pregnancy outcomes, how severely ill a pregnant woman gets, placental pathology, and neonatal infections by studying women at Parkland Health and Hospital System — a high-volume prenatal clinic system and public hospital affiliated with UT Southwestern. The team followed 3,374 mothers, 252 of whom tested positive for the virus during pregnancy, from March through August. The group was predominantly Hispanic (75 percent), followed by Black (18 percent) and white (4 percent). There were no significant differences between the expectant mothers in age, number of previous births, BMI, or diabetes.”