Dr. Madhu Juneja
Pune : Pregnancy is a wellness and not an illness. In response to rising coronavirus concerns, pregnant mothers need to be cautions. The virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has caused nearly 8,000 cases worldwide (mostly in mainland China), including 170 deaths and the fear is not yet subsided. While there is “limited data” on how pregnant women would be affected but it is advised checking off common causes like pneumonia and influenza first.
According to Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) Coronaviruses typically spread from an infected person to other people via respiratory drops that get into the air by coughing or sneezing. Close contact with an infected person, like touching or shaking hands, or touching a surface that has been contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before you wash your hands can also spread the virus.
Expecting mother have changes in their immune system during pregnancy and till now there has been no vaccine to prevent nCoV. These changes can reduce a woman’s resistance to viral infections, and this means they are at greater risk of serious complications from infections such as the ‘flu Unfortunately at this time there is no vaccination for the Wuhan Coronavirus but early prevention is possible if we take all the preventive measure.
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.
- When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.
- The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided.
- Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
- Keep toddlers and other children well away from other children or adults with respiratory symptoms
It is very difficult to distinguish a cold from the Coronavirus at the moment. Coronavirus, though, has the capacity to progress rapidly and cause high fever and severe chest infection and pneumonia.
Pregnancy makes it hard for bodies to fight off infection such as the flu, which is why it is important to get flu shot to prevent from falling ill. Regular hand-washing and using hand sanitizers can prevent the spread of the coronavirus, as well as other contagious illnesses.
Stay home if you feel unwell in order to prevent potentially spreading illness. Healthy Mothers leads to Happy Babies.
(The writer is Consultant Gynaecologist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Kalyani Nagar Pune)