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COVID-19 linked to premature deliveries, says the new CDC report

Birth deliveries appear to be linked to coronavirus infections, according to a new study of COVID-19 and pregnancy published Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC report also tracks abortions and stillbirths in patients with the virus.

The researchers looked at medical data on nearly 600 hospital patients between March and mid-August, both of whom tested positive for COVID-19 and were pregnant. Among the 445 births under study, 12.6% were premature births, which is more than 25% higher than premature births for the general U.S. population, according to the CDC. Births were three times more common in symptomatic patients than in those who were asymptomatic.

Ten patients experienced either miscarriage or stillbirth, but the report noted that it “probably underestimates the percentage of pregnancy losses that occur among women with COVID-1

9.” Five of the pregnancy losses occurred after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Wednesday’s report reiterated research published in JAMA earlier this summer that noted higher incidence of preterm birth and cesarean section among those with coronavirus infections as well as “significantly higher” incidence of stillbirths during the pandemic at a London hospital.

More than half of the patients in the new study had no symptoms of the disease when they were admitted to the hospital. Of those with symptoms, 16.2% of cases were severe enough to require treatment in an intensive care unit, and 8.5% needed ventilators. Two patients died.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), one of the nation’s leading medical professional groups, told CBS News that it reviewed the latest report.

“The pandemic remains a rapidly evolving situation,” said Christopher Zahn, ACOG’s Vice President of Practice Activities, in an email statement.

Zahn stressed that pregnant people, especially those “at increased risk of exposure due to obsession or underlying conditions”, should take extra precautions to stay protected from the virus, including “hand washing, social distancing and wearing a mask.”

When coronavirus first arrived in the United States earlier this year, doctors had extremely limited information about the specific risks it could pose during pregnancy. It was not until June that The CDC released guidance indicating that pregnant people “may have an increased risk of severe COVID-19 disease.” In this report, researchers noted that “pregnancy was associated with hospitalization and increased risk of hospitalization in the intensive care unit and receipt of mechanical ventilation, but not with death.”

In addition, pregnant black and Latino patients “appear to be disproportionately affected” by COVID-19 infection, according to the CDC. That would be in line with higher in general maternal mortality for black women, as well disproportionate amount of toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken hold Black and Latin American community.

After the June report was released, a Department of Health and Human Services official reprimanded the CDC, according to reports from the Washington Post. In an email received by Posten, Paul Alexander, senior adviser to Michael Caputo, HHS’s Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, said the report “reads in a way to intimidate women … as if the president and his administration can not solve this and it’s getting worse.”

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