Experts still learning about virus’ effects on babies, expectant moms
CHARLESTON, W.V. (WOWK) – It is a known fact that pregnant women can contract a more severe form of the flu, compared women who are not.
But what about the coronavirus?
“They might not be more susceptible to it,” said Dr. David Patton, M.D.; an OBGYN practicioner. “But their particular case may be worse, just like the flu is.”
Unfortunately, with the speed this virus is spreading, presenting new findings and information daily, nothing is concrete right now.
Dr. Patton says one reassuring thing for pregnant women, is; “It appears COVID-19 does not affect younger people as severely as it does the older population.”
The 15-40 age demographic is seeing the least amount of COVID-19 cases; the same age demographic as most pregnant women.
Chelsea Smith is a nurse at Family Care.
She is both pregnant, and works in the medical field, and sees both sides.
“When it came closer to our home state, and they started testing people in our home state, it kind of heightened the anxiety as I’m sure it did with everyone,” said Smith.
But now, she feels a little more at ease, as more information about COVID-19 becomes available.
“There haven’t been too many pregnant women who’ve been affected by the coronavirus, and if they have been affected, it has not transmitted to their baby,” said Smith. “There isn’t enough research to prove that for sure, but we’ve not noticed anything so far.”
Even though no cases of transmitting the virus to a baby have been reported, Dr. Patton urges all pregnant women to still remain cautious.
“We have to take this seriously,” said Dr. Patton. “There are smart people in epidemiology that are following this. I know at times, it seems over the top what’s happening; but I’m relying on their expertise, and since they’re taking it seriously, I feel like we all have to take it seriously.”
Both Chelsea Smith and Dr. Patton are recommending pregnant women stay cautious and take social distancing seriously until we can learn more about COVID-19’s affect on babies.