It is very early to determine the effects of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on pregnant women in their first trimister and their fetuses. This is a very critical and alarming concern, because notorious members of the coronavirus family, which have been responsible for previous outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV), have demonstrated their ability to cause severe complications during pregnancy, according to study.
The corona virus outbreak and the more recent MERS virus outbreak provide the best available information with which to examine the potential impact of 2019-nCoV on pregnancy, according to a letter published online in the Lancet.
12 pregnant women in their first trimester were infected with SARS-CoV during the early 2002-2003 pandemic. 3 out of these 12 women died during pregnancy, 4 of 7 women had miscarriage in their first trimester.
Further, In the second or third trimester, 2 out of 5 women had abnormal fetal growth and 4 of the 5 had premature birth (1 case was spontaneous and 3 had to be induced because of their condition at that point of time), according to corresponding author David Baud, MD, PhD, of the maternal-fetal and obstetrics research unit at Lausanne (Switzerland) University Hospital, and colleagues.
A detailed review of 11 pregnant women infected with the MERS-CoV virus showed that 10 women showed adverse outcomes. 6 neonates were admitted to the ICU; while 3 died. 2 neonates had to be delivered prematurely using a csection because their mothers developed severe respiratory failure due to the virus.
Because 2019-nCov has similar behavior, “We highly recommend complete screening of any suspected 2019-nCoV case to check the infection during pregnancy. If 2019-nCoV infection during pregnancy is found to be positive we strongly recommend that an extended follow-up should be done for mothers and their fetuses” concluded Dr. Baud and colleagues.
Dr. Baud and associates are very well known for their previous research on the impacts of the Zika virus on pregnancy. They reported having no competing interests.