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Incidence and Clinical Characteristics of and Risk Factors for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Infection Among Pregnant Individuals in the United States

Gabriella Newes-Adeyi, Lawrence Reichle, and Chris Flygare, Abt Global; Fatimah S. Dawood, Michael Daugherty, Yiling J. Cheng, Pei-Jean Feng, Sascha Ellington, and Romeo R. Galang, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Michael Varner, Ann Bruno, Kelly Vorwaller, Emily Powers, and Marie Gibson, University of Utah; Alan Tita, Ashley Batterbee, Mickey Parks, and Akila Subramaniam, University of Alabama; Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman, Celibell Vargas, Miriam Lucca-Susana, and Melissa S. Stockwell, Columbia University; Jennifer Meece, Marshfield Virology Laboratory


July 15, 2022

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found that nine percent of 1,098 participating pregnant individuals had COVID-19. The findings highlighted the importance of vaccinations for pregnant people since there is growing evidence that pregnancy can produce severe illness from COVID-19.

The study, a collaboration of the CDC with several partners, including Abt Global, followed a cohort of pregnant individuals from August 2020 through March 2021 at three sites: New York City, Salt Lake City, and Birmingham. AL. The participants sent in weekly nasal swabs regardless of symptoms, completed weekly symptom questionnaires, and  submitted additional swabs when they had COVID-like symptoms. An estimated 35 percent of infections were asymptomatic.

“This finding underscores the potential risks of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from pregnant individuals with asymptomatic infection to others in their households and community and the potential risks for horizontal transmission to their newborns,” the study said.

The study found that living with a child age five-17 years increased the risk of infection. Living with a child younger than five did not increase risk. And there was no difference in risk if one telecommuted or worked on site.