At present, the coronavirus has claimed 80 deaths in China (where the virus originated) and 63 persons are being examined in 22 states in the U.S. according to CDC.
Are pregnant women at risk?
The short answer is yes. During pregnancy, the mother’s immune system is altered so that it does not attack the unborn fetus (which is a foreign object) but it still maintains the ability to protect the mother against infection.
Here are five things that a pregnant woman should know about the Coronavirus:
1. Your risk of getting the coronavirus as well as pneumonia and the flue is higher because your immune system is altered.
2. Avoid international travel if possible. At present, passengers coming from Wuhan, China to the US are being tested at major US airports however, as a passenger sitting on a plane, you have no idea where the person sitting next to you has been. Planes have confined physical and air space, therefore you are more susceptible to inhaling someone else’s germs.
3. Follow CDC recommendations that include:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
4. Read food labels and do not eat any meat or seafood that comes from China. Remember, the coronavirus was first discovered in a live meat and seafood market in China.
5. Avoid being around sick people.
If you have sneezing, coughing or body aches that persist for more than 24-hours or have fever or chills, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Prevention and early recognition of a problem are the keys to having a healthy baby.
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