By Dra. Lourdes Alcántara
In the Chinese city of Wuhan, the virus originated, since in December 2019, this virus has quickly spread throughout the planet, leaving thousands dead and hundreds of thousands of people infected. They are called coronaviruses because the surface of the virus has crown-shaped tips. Several coronaviruses cause respiratory infections in our species, it is known that they can go from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and acute and severe respiratory syndrome (SARS), explains the World Health Organization . “There are countless types of coronaviruses in bats and birds,” says Joel Wertheimer, assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego, USA. Coronaviruses in humans often cause mild colds, as long as the immune system of affected people is not compromised.
In general, the main symptoms of coronavirus infections may be as follows.
- Sore throat.
- Difficulty breathing (dyspnea).
- Loss of sense of smell and taste.
- Manifestations on the skin (especially in children and adolescents) hives with and without itching or erythema multiforme.
- Chills and general discomfort.
- Nasal obstruction, discharge, and drip.
As with the influenza virus, the most severe symptoms (and the highest mortality) are registered both in older people and in those individuals with immunosuppression or with chronic diseases such as diabetes, some types of cancer or chronic lung disease. In the most severe cases they can cause respiratory failure.
Older people and those with underlying medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. In the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been found that around 80% of infected people have mild symptoms, 1 in 6 people who contract covid-19 develops a serious illness and has respiratory distress, and 2% of people who have contracted the disease have died.
The route of infection is through contacts including all members of the household, any intimate contacts, and all persons who were less than 6 feet away for more than 10 minutes. Also, anyone who has had contact with their body fluids and / or secretions (such as tears, saliva, etc.).
Pregnancy and coronavirus
The good news, said Christina Han, a high-risk pregnancy specialist and professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, is that:
“There is no evidence that pregnant women are more susceptible to the coronavirus than any other regular healthy adult.” At the same time, we do not have much information about it, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that contracting the coronavirus when pregnant could make her more vulnerable than other women of childbearing age who become infected, to serious respiratory problems such as pneumonia.
This is because pregnant women already have a higher heart rate, lower lung capacity, and what a doctor called the “distracted immune system.” There may also be an increased risk of miscarriage and premature delivery, said Dr. Romeo Galang, an obstetrician gynecologist on the CDC emergency response team for COVID-19. So far, no maternal deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported.
Furthermore, the virus has not been detected in amniotic fluid, nor in umbilical cord blood, placental tissue, or breast milk; That means then that there is no “vertical transmission” (you will not pass it on to your fetus).
It is important to maximize the immune system and avoid any situation where you are at low risk for infection if you are pregnant, said Amy Van Blaricom. It is important that pregnant women, or women expecting to become pregnant, do everything possible to strengthen their immune system. The influenza vaccine is not dangerous during pregnancy or breastfeeding, she added, since immunity is also passed to the baby.
Because preeclampsia is a pregnancy condition that can be avoided or lessened in its impact, the pregnant woman should monitor herself, it would be ideal for her home kit to have a blood pressure meter and urine test strips, which are essential to detect pregnancy-induced hypertension, (Eclampsia and pre-Eclampsia).