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Preterm Birth May Be Increased for Women With SARS-CoV-2

Perinatal infection infrequent; effect of infection during early pregnancy not known

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Preterm birth may be increased among women with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), but perinatal infection is infrequent, according to research published in the Nov. 2 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Kate R. Woodworth, M.D., from the CDC COVID-19 Response Team, and colleagues collected information on pregnancy and infant outcomes among 5,252 women with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection reported during March 29 to Oct. 14, 2020.

The researchers found that 12.9 percent of the 3,912 live births with known gestational age were preterm (<37 weeks), which was higher than the 10.2 percent reported among the general U.S. population in 2019. Perinatal infection was infrequent (2.6 percent) among 610 infants with reported SARS-CoV-2 test results and mainly occurred among infants whose mothers had SARS-CoV-2 infection identified within one week of delivery. Most pregnant women with COVID-19 had infection in the third trimester, and consequently, additional surveillance is needed to assess the impact of infection in early pregnancy as well as the long-term outcomes for exposed infants.

“These data can help to inform and counsel persons who acquire COVID-19 during pregnancy about potential risk to their pregnancy and infants; however, the risks associated with infection early in pregnancy and long-term infant outcomes remain unclear,” the authors write.

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