Srinagar: Pregnancy weakens immune system of women making them susceptible to not only novel coronavirus but also respiratory tract infections, say health experts
The pregnant women should minimize the risk of falling prey to the infection by following the necessary guidelines issued by World health Organization (WHO) and health experts.
The upper respiratory tract tends to get swollened due to high levels of estrogen, progesterone and restricted lung expansion, which makes such women prone to respiratory pathogens, according to experts.
“Not only to Covid-19, pregnant women are in general vulnerable to respiratory tract infections as well,” Dr. Shabir Sidiqi, Medical Superintendent maternity hospital, Lal Ded Srinagar told Kashmir news agency (KNO).
“There is no evidence that virus can transmit to unborn baby, however Covid-19 may alter immune responses at the maternal-fetal interface and affect the well being of mothers and infants,” he added.
Dr. Tabasum, Deputy Medical superintendent at JLNM hospital agreed to Dr. Sidique’s views.
“Pregnant women are a bit more vulnerable to Covid-19 and other respiratory infections than common people. However, if they follow the universal guidelines issued by WHO in letter and spirit, then their chances of getting COVID positive are very less,” she said.
There is no evidence that that virus can transmit to baby, she said. “Mother breastfeeding is a must. But a mother should use protective gears while feeding the baby. The baby must be kept away from infected mother soon after feeding,” she said.
Pregnant women from urban areas were maintaining social distances and wearing face masks besides following other guidelines but women from rural areas do not follow the social distancing and other measures, according to Dr. Tabasum.
“That is why most Covid-19 cases have been found in women belonging to rural areas. Pregnant women must wash hands frequently, practice social distance, avoid contact with others as much as possible, get flu vaccination on time and use tissue while coughing or sneezing,” she said
Notably, over a dozen pregnant women have tested positive for Covid-19 in Kashmir division.