Researchers seek COVID-19 effects on pregnancy

NEW YORK, N.Y. (CBS Newspath) — Little is known about how the novel coronavirus affects pregnancy. That’s why UCLA Health and the University of California San Francisco have launched a national registry to help doctors better understand COVID-19’s impact on pregnant women and their babies.

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“The issue is we don’t have data in pregnancy. A lot of this data is extrapolated from other SARS infection, MERS, and non-pregnant individuals,” says Dr. Yalda Afshar, an assistant professor in the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at UCLA Health.

Dr. Afshar is a principal investigator for the study. The registry is enrolling pregnant or recently pregnant women with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. “We really wanna help both physicians and women make evidence-based informed decisions based on good data,” she says.

600 patients have already been enrolled. Researchers will collect data through pregnancy, then track the new mothers and babies for up to one year.

Being pregnant in the middle of a pandemic has been filled with stress and anxiety for Silvana Vergara. Despite taking every precaution, she got sick with COVID-19. “All the symptoms just started to get worse and worse. I couldn’t even talk without coughing. And I started having shortness of breath,” she says.

It’s been about a month since Silvana, now 22 weeks pregnant, was diagnosed. “I still have a cough, but I’m definitely feeling much better,” she says.

Silvana says she was able to have anatomy test and fetal echocardiogram done after she cleared the isolation period. She said it all looked great and gave her peace of mind. Her baby boy is due in August.

A recent study of 200 pregnant women admitted for delivery in New York found 33 tested positive for the coronavirus and most of them showed no symptoms.

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