Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Pregnancy: Responding to a Rapidly Evolving Situation.Obstet Gynecol. 2020 05; 135(5):999-1002.OG
As the world confronts coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an illness caused by yet another emerging pathogen (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2]), obstetric care providers are asking what this means for pregnant women. The global spread has been swift, and many key questions remain. The case-fatality rate for persons cared for in the United States and whether asymptomatic persons transmit the virus are examples of questions that need to be answered to inform public health control measures. There are also unanswered questions specific to pregnant women, such as whether pregnant women are more severely affected and whether intrauterine transmission occurs. Although guidelines for pregnant women from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been rapidly developed based on the best available evidence, additional information is critically needed to inform key decisions, such as whether pregnant health care workers should receive special consideration, whether to temporarily separate infected mothers and their newborns, and whether it is safe for infected women to breastfeed. Some current recommendations are well supported, based largely on what we know from seasonal influenza: patients should avoid contact with ill persons, avoid touching their face, cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands frequently, disinfect contaminated surfaces, and stay home when sick. Prenatal clinics should ensure all pregnant women and their visitors are screened for fever and respiratory symptoms, and symptomatic women should be isolated from well women and required to wear a mask. As the situation with COVID-19 rapidly unfolds, it is critical that obstetricians keep up to date.