The World Health Organization said Friday it will keep a close eye on the impact of Covid-19 during pregnancy, as some recent studies point to pregnant women with underlying health conditions being at higher risk of getting severely ill from the virus.
Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's technical lead for coronavirus response and head of its emerging diseases and zoonoses unit, said during a news briefing that pregnant women "don't seem to develop a different type of disease than women of the same age who are not pregnant."
"However, there are some studies that have come out recently that have looked at pregnant women with underlying conditions. And if there are women with underlying conditions, they are at a higher risk of developing more severe disease," Van Kerkhove said.
In a recent report, the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention said pregnant women who get infected with novel coronavirus are more likely to be hospitalized, admitted to an intensive care unit and put on a ventilator. While the CDC said the study included the largest cohort of pregnant women with lab-confirmed coronavirus, it's not clear whether the pregnant women who were hospitalized were in the hospital because of complications related to Covid-19 or for pregnancy-related reasons.
"We need to ensure that we keep a close eye on [this] and ensure that pregnant women have the right care throughout their pregnancy," Van Kerkhove said at the briefing.