Pregnant women with Covid-19 infection face a seven times increased risk of dying and a significantly elevated risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit or suffering from pneumonia, a new study has shown.
According to the study published in BMJ Global Health, Covid-19 during pregnancy also increases the risk that the baby will need to be admitted to intensive care.
"This study provides the most comprehensive evidence to date suggesting that Covid-19 is a threat during pregnancy," said Emily R. Smith, lead author of the study, and an assistant professor of global health at the US-based George Washington University.
"Our findings underscore the importance of Covid-19 vaccination for all women of childbearing age," she added. Moreover, the researchers found that compared to uninfected pregnant women, pregnant women with Covid-19 infection had more than three times the risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit.
People with Covid-19 who need ICU care are also more likely to die. Covid-19 can impair breathing ability, and in severe cases, patients require mechanical ventilation to survive, the study showed.
There is also an about 23 times higher risk of developing pneumonia, a potentially life-threatening complication of Covid-19, and an over 5 times higher risk of thromboembolic disease (blood clots) that can cause pain, swelling, and other life-threatening issues in Covid-19 infection.
Smith points out that, despite the very serious health risks, more than 80 countries still do not recommend that all pregnant and lactating women receive the Covid vaccine.