March 20, 2020 -- Early reports from China suggest that pregnant women who have the novel coronavirus are not experiencing worse outcomes or passing the infection on to their offspring, according to a study published online March 17 in the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.
For the study, Dr. David Schwartz, a clinical professor of pathology at the Medical College of Georgia, and colleagues reviewed published reports for a total of 38 pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 from different settings in China:
Of the 38 pregnant women, 37 had infections confirmed with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing. The researchers evaluated maternal outcomes and whether the infection was passed from mother to baby.
"Previous epidemics of many emerging viral infections have typically resulted in poor obstetrical outcomes including maternal morbidity and mortality, maternal-fetal transmission of the virus, and perinatal infections and death," Schwartz and colleagues noted.
As it turned out, unlike with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), SARS-CoV-2 infection was not associated with maternal deaths in the detailed reports outlined in the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine review.
Furthermore, there were no confirmed cases of intrauterine or transplacental transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from infected mothers to their fetuses; however, more cases need to be analyzed to support these findings and the outlook may change as time goes on, according to the authors. In the meantime, guidelines for managing pregnant women with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection are available, they noted.