5 things mums should know about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Updated: Oct 20, 2020
#1 What is coronavirus? Can i get infected in pregnancy?
Coronavirus is contagious and can be easily transmitted from person to person. The transmission is by coughing or sneezing from infected persons or touching contaminated objects. Do take precautions!
#2 What are the symptoms of coronavirus infection? How serious is the infection?
The symptoms are similar to flu with dry cough, fever and even shortness of breath. Infected patients can also get diarrhoea. This disease can be severe and fatal in 2-3%.
#3 Are mothers more prone to Covid-19 infection?
The data for coronavirus in pregnancy is currently limited but seems reassuring. As a mum's immune system is weaker, she may be at greater risk of more serious complications. So do beware and not get complacent.
#4 Are there reports of mothers infected with Covid-19?
A 38-week full term mother in Harbin (China) was unfortunately infected with the virus in January 2020. An emergency C-section was performed and a healthy baby girl was delivered with good Apgar score (showing good health status). Both mother and baby were stable postnatally. The baby is checked clear of virus!
However, for another infected mother who delivered in Feb 2020 at Wuhan (China), her baby was tested positive with the coronavirus 30 hours later. This suggests that vertical mother-to-baby transmission of virus may be possible.
The Lancet published a small study of 9 pregnant moms infected with Covid-19 in third trimesters. The babies were delivered by C-section and thankfully, none were infected, casting doubt on the vertical transmission risk.
#5 What should pregnant mums do to avoid coronavirus infection?
Practice good hand hygiene with alcohol-based sanitizers especially before meals. As local infection risk is now prevalent, do stay home and wear mask when out for essentials. Stay safe and keep good social distance from people. Let's work together to fight this dreadful disease for you and your baby!
This is a good time to take the flu vaccine if you have not. Flu is more common and can lead to severe infection in pregnancy. Taking the jab will also reduce symptoms similar to coronavirus and offer you peace of mind.
Seek medical treatment immediately if you have cough, fever or shortness of breath and with recent travel or had close contact with an infected person.
Keep safe, mothers!
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