15% of pregnant women in study tested positive for COVID-19, most asymptomatic

About 15 percent of the 215 pregnant women who delivered infants at two New York City hospitals tested positive for the new coronavirus, but most were asymptomatic when they came into the hospital, a letter published in The New England Journal of Medicine states.

The letter, written by four physicians, describes the results of a universal screening program to detect the new coronavirus among pregnant women at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital in New York City.

From March 22 to April 4, the 215 pregnant women delivered infants at the two hospitals. Of these women, 33 tested positive for the virus, but only four had fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 at hospital admission. The other 29 showed no symptoms of the disease when screened during hospital admission.

Of the 29 women, three developed a fever before being discharged from the hospital after giving birth.

One patient who initially tested negative for the virus at hospital admission began showing COVID-19 symptoms only after giving birth. A second test showed the patient was positive for the virus.

 

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