The World Health Organization has issued new clinical guidance on how to care for coronavirus patients who are children, older adults and pregnant women, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing on Monday.
“This is a serious disease. Although the evidence we have suggests that those over 60 are at highest risk, young people, including children, have died,” Tedros said.
Additionally, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that women experience changes in their bodies during pregnancy that may increase their risk of some infections.
WHO’s guidance notes that “there is no evidence that pregnant women present with different signs or symptoms or are at higher risk of severe illness. So far, there is no evidence on mother-to-child transmission when infection manifests in the third trimester.”
Yet “considering asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 may be possible in pregnant or recently pregnant women, as with the general population, all women with epidemiologic history of contact should be carefully monitored,” the guidance says.
Also, “pregnant women with suspected, probable, or confirmed COVID-19, including women who may need to spend time in isolation, should have access” to appropriate care and “all recently pregnant women with COVID-19 or who have recovered from COVID-19 should be provided with information and counseling on safe infant feeding” as well as ways to prevent transmission of the virus, the guidance says.
The guidance also notes that currently there is no evidence that pregnant women present increased risk of severe illness or fetal compromise.