Update: Characteristics of Symptomatic Women of Reproductive Age with Laboratory-Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Infection by Pregnancy Status - United States, January 22-October 3, 2020

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Nov 6;69(44):1641-1647. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6944e3.


Studies suggest that pregnant women might be at increased risk for severe illness associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (1,2). This report provides updated information about symptomatic women of reproductive age (15-44 years) with laboratory-confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. During January 22-October 3, CDC received reports through national COVID-19 case surveillance or through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) of 1,300,938 women aged 15-44 years with laboratory results indicative of acute infection with SARS-CoV-2. Data on pregnancy status were available for 461,825 (35.5%) women with laboratory-confirmed infection, 409,462 (88.7%) of whom were symptomatic. Among symptomatic women, 23,434 (5.7%) were reported to be pregnant. After adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, and underlying medical conditions, pregnant women were significantly more likely than were nonpregnant women to be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) (10.5 versus 3.9 per 1,000 cases; adjusted risk ratio [aRR] = 3.0; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.6-3.4), receive invasive ventilation (2.9 versus 1.1 per 1,000 cases; aRR = 2.9; 95% CI = 2.2-3.8), receive extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) (0.7 versus 0.3 per 1,000 cases; aRR = 2.4; 95% CI = 1.5-4.0), and die (1.5 versus 1.2 per 1,000 cases; aRR = 1.7; 95% CI = 1.2-2.4). Stratifying these analyses by age and race/ethnicity highlighted disparities in risk by subgroup. Although the absolute risks for severe outcomes for women were low, pregnant women were at increased risk for severe COVID-19-associated illness. To reduce the risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19, pregnant women should be counseled about the importance of seeking prompt medical care if they have symptoms and measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection should be strongly emphasized for pregnant women and their families during all medical encounters, including prenatal care visits. Understanding COVID-19-associated risks among pregnant women is important for prevention counseling and clinical care and treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Betacoronavirus / isolation & purification*
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications*
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laboratories
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology
  • Risk Assessment
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Symptom Assessment*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult