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For the moment, no malformations related to the COVID-19 has not yet been reported in the world.
A group of quebec physicians is urging the government Legault to create a registry of pregnant women infected by the COVID-19 to determine the impact of the disease on mothers and their infants. According to recent studies, the coronaviruses increases the risk of preterm delivery. On Tuesday, the scientific journal Nature Communications has reported a transmission of the virus through the placenta.
One more reason, argue doctors, to collect more data on women with the COVID-19 during the pregnancy. “The need for a comprehensive record of the case in Quebec is all the more overwhelming,” said Dr. Isabelle Boucoiran, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the Centre hospitalier universitaire (CHU) Sainte-Justine, in Montreal.
Dr. Isabelle Boucoiran driver the pane, quebec to a canadian study on the COVID-19 in pregnant women. In Quebec, eight hospitals are participating in this research. Among them, the CHU de Québec — Université Laval, CHU de Sherbrooke, the jewish general Hospital, Montreal, the Cité de la santé in Laval and the CHU Sainte-Justine.
“We push for the department [of Health and social Services] establish a registry to collect information on all pregnant women of the province, because if one takes just the case in the larger centres, it is likely to be biased, that is to say, to see only the case where there are the most problems,” says Dr. Boucoiran.
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Of recent international studies have shown an increase in the risk of preterm delivery, particularly among women hospitalized for a severe form of infection during the third trimester of pregnancy, says the doctor.
In Quebec, a few cases of prematurity related to the COVID-19 were counted, she adds : “In speaking with the various partners in the centers [hospital], I had the impression that there had been a few cases of premature birth, but rather premature, late, or 33 to 36 weeks “.
No infant suffered from a severe form of the COVID-19 in Canada, according to Dr. Fatima Kakkar, a pediatrician infectiologist at the CHU Sainte-Justine. The researcher has just submitted for publication the results of a study that she conducted with 6 new-born infants and 21 infants under a year, which are followed in the pediatric hospital.
In speaking with the various partners in the centers [hospital], I had the impression that there had been a few cases of premature birth, but rather premature, late, or 33 to 36 weeks
— Dr. Isabelle Boucoiran
“Infants are very little symptomatic, observes Dr. Kakkar. We do not understand why. “The doctor points out that an infant may be hospitalized for a week or two when he catches a cold.
Worrying fact : a French study, which has just been published in Nature Communications, shows that the mother can transmit the COVID-19 to his child when he is in his belly. The virus has been detected in the placenta, the amniotic fluid and the newborn.
“This is the only confirmed case among hundreds of women who have recently given birth, reports Dr. Kakkar.
This transmission in utero remains “rare,” says Fatima Kakkar. It occurs ” probably, especially if the mother has a severe disease, with high viral load “, she says. Remains to be seen if there will be sequels or not in infants infected, who has recovered from the disease just like her mother.
For the moment, no malformations related to the COVID-19 has not yet been reported in the world. “If there was a significant risk, we would have seen it, believes Dr. Isabelle Boucoiran. But it is sure that there is a viral attack that can give you brain damage, that are more difficult to detect at birth, and which will appear later. “It also ignores the effect of the COVID-19 when it occurs in early pregnancy.
Mothers most at risk
The mothers, meanwhile, seem more likely to complications if they get the COVID-19, reports Dr. Isabelle Boucoiran.
At the jewish general Hospital, the balance sheet is positive, however. The establishment has hosted a quarantine of pregnant women infected by the COVID-19. “The majority had minor symptoms, such as loss of taste and smell “, said Dr. Haim Arie Abenhaim, an obstetrician / gynaecologist, specialized in at-risk pregnancies. Many were asymptomatic.
“But we have had some cases [of women] are very sick,” continues the doctor, who is working with Dr. Isabelle Boucoiran pane on the quebec of the canadian study. Some have been in the icu for a period of up to one week. “In Quebec, no woman has died of the disease, according to the experts consulted.
“But you must not think that we are risk-free if it is infected, warns Dr. Haim Arie Abenhaim. This virus has five months. It is not known. “
Despite these uncertainties, the doctors interviewed are keen to reassure the pregnant women. They do not have to isolate themselves. “I don’t think it is the right thing to do for the mental health of stay at home “, said Dr. Haim Arie Abenhaim.
Pregnant women and their families must remain vigilant and rigorous in the application of hygiene measures and infection prevention (hand-washing, mask-wearing and distancing), say the experts consulted.
But they should not panic, however. “Stress in pregnancy is associated with a lot more risk of complications, such as premature births,” explains Dr. Isabelle Boucoiran. Try to remain zen, so, in spite of a pandemic that plays with life.