Pregnant people not at increased risk for coronavirus, experts say

As the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, a pandemic, anxiety around what the virus means for pregnant people grows.

In Canada, there are currently more than 100 cases, according to tallies from the provinces. There are now more than 18,000 cases in more than 110 countries, according to the WHO.

Soon-to-be parents are often in and out of hospitals for medical appointments — places where patients may be treated for the virus and medical professionals may be at risk. Doctors at Toronto hospitals have even called for specialized locations to test for COVID-19 to limit the spread within health facilities.

But are pregnant folks at a greater risk of contracting the virus and passing it to their fetus? According to experts, so far research indicates no.

“There is no evidence that pregnant women are at increased risk from COVID-19,” said Dr. Brett Belchetz, a Toronto-based emergency room physician and CEO of telehealth company Maple.

“This appears different from the flu, for example, where pregnant women typically are at greater risk of flu complications.”

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