88% Covid positive pregnant women asymptomatic

Asymptomatic women with Covid-19 are at risk of infecting their newborns and also pose a risk to healthcare providers and other patients.

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A new study, conducted among over 1,140 pregnant women in the state, has found that 88 per cent Covid positive pregnant women were asymptomatic and has strongly recommended the strategy of universal testing.

The study — ‘Universal screening identifies asymptomatic carriers of SARS-CoV-2 among pregnant women in India’ — has been accepted for publication in the European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Biology. It was conducted by the State Medical Education and Drugs Department, government of Maharashtra, and ICMR – National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, along with other hospitals.

Asymptomatic women with covid19 are at risk of infecting their newborns and also pose a risk to healthcare providers and other patients. Considering this, the Indian Council of Medical Research has recommended universal testing for SARS-CoV-2 in pregnant women. “Our joint collaborative study has estimated presence of one symptomatic to every nine asymptomatic pregnant women with Covid-19,” said Dr Smita Mahale, director of ICMR- National Institute of Research in Reproductive Health (NIRRH).

In all, 141 of 1,140 pregnant women tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, resulting in a prevalence of 12.3 per cent in Maharashtra. For estimation of numbers of symptomatic and asymptomatic pregnant women, the data of 141 women was pooled with data from Topiwala National Medical College and BYL Nair Hospital, which exclusively caters to Covid-19 patients. Of the 321 SARS-CoV-2 positive women, only 37 women were symptomatic. The prevalence of symptomatic pregnant women is 11.5 per cent while that of asymptomatic pregnant women is 88.5 per cent.

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