COVID While Pregnant More Common, Less Severe With Omicron

(Reuters) – Women who were pregnant during the recent Omicron surge had more than eight times the rate of COVID-19 diagnoses, but lower odds of severe illness compared with pregnant women diagnosed earlier in the pandemic, according to new research.

Doctors in Texas studied 2,641 women with COVID-19 infections during pregnancy from May 2020 through January 2022. While the weekly numbers of deliveries were similar throughout the study period, the average weekly number of infected women giving birth was 17 early in the pandemic, 14 during the Delta era, and 138 during Omicron, the researchers reported in JAMA.

Fewer than 1% of women infected during the Omicron wave required hospitalization, compared to nearly 12% during Delta, they found. “We got very lucky” that Omicron’s transmissibility was not matched by its severity, study leader Dr. Emily Adhikari of UT Southwestern said in a statement.

SOURCE: JAMA, online March 24, 2022.

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