Pregnant women now in high-risk category for COVID-19

Updated: Mar. 19, 2020 at 4:08 PM EDT
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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - North Carolina health officials recently announced that pregnant women are now included in the “high-risk” category for COVID-19.

Dr. Jeffrey Stinson, the medical director for labor and delivery at Betty H. Cameron Women and Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, said there is not a lot known about how the virus actually impacts expecting mothers.

“There is not a lot of information. The limited reports from China suggest pregnant women have done very well when infected with the virus and have not transmitted it to their babies,” he said.

Out of an abundance of caution, doctors are urging pregnant women to adhere to the guidelines for other high-risk citizens, including social distancing and frequent handwashing.

“The decision to make coronavirus in pregnant women a high-risk situation is largely based on what we know from influenza and we know that pregnant women who get the flu get much sicker," Stinson said.

While prenatal appointments in some cities across the country are being canceled, no such action is taking place in New Hanover County.

“We are carefully working with the OB practices in town to carefully come to that decision and at the moment OB appointments are not being canceled,” Stinson said.

If you are expecting, the CDC has additional guidelines and information here.

“I would tell them to not be nervous and that if they stick to the social isolation protocols that have been put in place they should be fine and if they do contract the virus, they should know that most of what we’ve seen from pregnant women is that they do very well,” Stinson said.

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