One in 10 Pregnant Women in Maharashtra Asymptomatic for Covid-19, Says Study
A study among 1,140 pregnant women in Maharashtra found that 141 women were infected with coronavirus, putting it to 12.3%. The study was carried out by researchers from the Mumbai-based ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (NIRRH). They found that almost one in 10 pregnant women are asymptomatic during the time of admission in a hospital.
The data was collected between April 25 and May 20 from 15 hospitals in Maharashtra. It represented the pregnant women in labour or who were expected to deliver in the next five days. According to the data collected, the information was gathered from 141 pregnant women from Topiwala National Medical College and 180 Covid-19 infected women from Nair Hospital in Mumbai. They found that only 11.5% of pregnant women who were infected showed symptoms, while the remaining 88.5% were asymptomatic.
As per The Hindu, Dr Deepak Modi of NIRRH and co-authors of the study published in the journal European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Reproductive Biology, said, “Pregnant women generally have low immunity and have a higher risk of getting infected. So, Covid-test is important for pregnant women.”
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had also recommended universal testing for SARS-CoV-2 in pregnant women, for both symptomatic and asymptomatic as it can infect the baby and also poses a huge threat to the health-workers.
Virologist Dr Shahid Jameel and CEO of DBT-Wellcome Trust India Alliance added, “Pregnancy is to some extent an immunocompromised state to protect the fetus. So yes, pregnant women are always at higher risk for infections, just like people on immunosuppression therapy (eg recovering cancer patients) and those with immunodeficiency.”
Dr Rahul Gajbhiye from NIRRH and a co-author of the paper mentioned that finding asymptomatic patients helped them to contain the spread of the virus to infants, health-workers and others in the community.