As the Coronavirus spreads, some women who are pregnant are concerned about the health of their unborn child. As MPB’s Desare Frazier reports, one doctor says taking precautions can reduce their risk of infection.
Health care providers often refer to the vulnerable populations in combating the Coronavirus as the elderly, those with weakened immune systems, and chronic conditions. Obstetrics and Gynecology physician Dr. Michelle Owens is with the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She says while pregnant women aren’t more susceptible to contracting the virus they are vulnerable to some infections.
"Just as with influenza and other types of respiratory illnesses, they can make pregnant women especially ill. So, we have really tried to get the word out to everyone that pregnant women represent a vulnerable population and they should take every precaution to limit their exposures," said Owens.
Twenty-eight year old Katelyn West of Jackson is 7 months pregnant. This is her second child with her husband of six years. She says her doctor has labelled her pregnancy high risk because of the Coronavirus. She says she’s taking the same precautions everyone is advised to do, using good hand hygiene, practicing social distancing and staying home from work.
"Even though they don't know much, they have gone ahead and been hopefully over cautious towards us. But it does make me a little bit nervous too when I think about just the possibility of me getting sick or delivering prematurely, and my newborn getting sick," said West.
Dr. Owens says so far there haven’t been any cases of women with the Coronavirus infecting their unborn child. She adds once the baby is born, they’re encouraging mothers to minimize the infant’s contact with others.