Health officials talk COVID-19, explain potential effects virus could have on pregnant women

Updated: Mar. 10, 2020 at 5:22 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The coronavirus can impact anyone, but health officials say people with weak immune systems are more likely to get sick.

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Deaconess Women’s Hospital explained the potential effects the virus could have on pregnant women.

Health officials say it’s not that pregnant women’s immune systems are weak, but it’s what happens to their bodies during pregnancy that makes them more at risk.

Director of Perinatal Medicine and Ultrasound Brennan Fitzpatrick says women’s respiratory and immune systems change during pregnancy.

Their chances of getting infectious diseases are higher as well.

These changes make them part of the high-risk population for coronavirus, just like they are for influenza and pneumonia.

Something else you might be wondering, could moms transmit the virus to their unborn babies?

“It doesn’t appear that moms are transmitting the virus to their babies, their unborn babies," Fitzpatrick said. “I think the other thing that it relates to pregnancy-related complications, we don’t think that it increases the chances of preterm labor, preterm delivery, or other complications related to the pregnancy."

Officials say, if you are pregnant and don’t have a high fever and a mild cough, you can just treat the symptoms at home.

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