COVID-19 and pregnancy: A review of clinical characteristics, obstetric outcomes and vertical transmission

The Australian & New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Elicia PettirossoMegan Rees

Abstract

Since its emergence in December 2019, COVID-19 has spread to over 210 countries, with an estimated mortality rate of 3-4%. Little is understood about its effects during pregnancy. To describe the current understanding of COVID-19 illness in pregnant women, to describe obstetric outcomes and to identify gaps in the existing knowledge. Medline Ovid, EMBASE, World Health Organization COVID-19 research database and Cochrane COVID-19 in pregnancy spreadsheet were accessed on 18/4, 18/5 and 23/5 2020. Articles were screened via Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. The following were excluded: reviews, opinion pieces, guidelines, articles pertaining solely to other viruses, single case reports. Sixty articles were included in this review. Some pregnant participants may have been included in multiple publications, as admission dates overlap for reports from the same hospital. However, a total of 1287 confirmed SARS-CoV-2 positive pregnant cases are reported. Where universal testing was undertaken, asymptomatic infection occurred in 43.5-92% of cases. In the cohort studies, severe and critical COVID-19 illness rates approximated those of the non-pregnant population. Eight maternal deaths, six ne...Continue Reading

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