Pregnant women infected with the coronavirus might be at greater risk for hospitalization than women who aren’t pregnant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Thursday, a change from previous guidance that found no difference between the groups with respect to infections.
In its weekly report, the CDC said pregnant women who contract the virus are at greater risk to be hospitalized, admitted into an intensive care unit and put on a ventilator, according to a study of cases reported from January to June.
From Jan. 22 to June 7, the health body reported that 326,335 women, ages 15 to 44, tested positive for COVID-19.
Pregnant women were admitted to an intensive care unit at a 1.5 percent greater frequency than nonpregnant women, at 0.9 percent. A half-percent of pregnant women required mechanical ventilation, compared to 0.3 percent of nonpregnant women, the report said.
However, the research doesn’t conclude that pregnant women are more at risk of dying from COVID-19, as the death rate for both groups was reported at 0.2 percent, the CDC said.
Data was reported to the health agency either electronically or through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, which tracks disease trends. Both groups experience the same symptoms with respect to cough and shortness of breath, but pregnant women reported fewer symptoms of muscle aches, chills, headaches and fever.
The report also cited racial disparities among pregnant women infected with the virus.
Hispanic women had the highest infection rate at 46 percent, while 23 percent were white and 22 percent were black women, the report said.
The CDC previously said there was no data that suggested COVID-19 affected pregnant women differently than other women. They were still included with groups considered at-risk, such as those with underlying health conditions and the elderly before being removed.