COVID-19 in pregnancy characterized by nonspecific symptoms, prolonged disease course

12 Nov 2020

Not as many pregnant women with COVID-19 present with fever, but a lot of them experience fatigue, body aches, and headaches as compared with women not carrying a child, a study has found.

Furthermore, pregnancy appears to contribute to a prolonged course of disease for some women, whereby symptoms persist for 8 weeks or more after disease onset.

In total, 991 women in the US who had known or suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection were examined in the study. Average gestational age at enrollment was 24.1 weeks, and 13 percent of women were enrolled after pregnancy.

Of the women, 736 had symptoms of COVID-19 at the time of testing, with 594 testing positive and 142 negative. Their mean age was 31.3 years, and 37 percent were nulliparous.

The women who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2-infection had a diverse geographical representation: 34 percent were from the northeast, 25 percent from the west, 21 percent from the south, and 18 percent from the midwest. Thirty-one percent of the population were Latina, and 9 percent were black.

In the SARS-CoV-2 positive cohort, cough (20 percent) was the most prevalent first symptom. This was followed by sore throat (16 percent), body aches (12 percent), and fever (12 percent). Median time to symptom resolution was 37 days. The symptoms persisted 8 weeks after onset in 25 percent of the women.

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