WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A woman in Israel, who was infected with COVID-19 and in her 36th week of pregnancy, had a stillbirth over the weekend.
- A similar case also in Israel was reported last week, where a 29-year-old woman in her 25th week of pregnancy also had a stillborn fetus due to the virus.
- Health experts are advising pregnant women to take the coronavirus vaccine.
An Israeli hospital reported a case of stillborn fetus from a woman infected with the coronavirus — the second declared instance in the country.
Hebrew media reports said that the woman, in her 36th week of pregnancy, went to the hospital over the weekend for feeling ill. It was then discovered that she had contracted COVID-19.
Meir Medical Center doctors found the unborn child dead in the womb. A subsequent lab test showed that the fetus was also infected with the virus.
The hospital, though, said it could not currently link the virus to the actual death itself.
A similar case was reported last week, when a 29-year-old woman, who was in her 25th week of pregnancy and had tested positive for COVID, had a stillbirth. The hospital said that it was possible that the fetus died from COVID-19 complications.
“The fetus was infected through the placenta and with a very high degree of certainty, [we can say] died due to coronavirus,” Dr. Tal Brosh, head of the Infectious Disease Department at the Assuta Hospital in Ashdod, told the Ynet news site.
Dr. Yossi Tobin, the director of the maternity ward at the hospital, agreed with Brosh’s diagnosis. “It was an intrauterine infection of the fetus, which can cause placental infection and death,” Tobin said.
“This is a rare occurrence because a baby is usually infected with coronavirus after birth, as a result of contact with the mother. The fact that we were able to find out that they were already positive in the womb indicates a high probability that [the fetus] died as a result of coronavirus,” the maternity ward director continued.
A number of expecting mothers were reported feeling sick, with quite a few babies delivered prematurely through Caesarean section due to serious risks to both the mothers and the babies. There are also suspicions that some of them were infected with the so-called British strain, a mutated coronavirus which is believed to be more infectious and fatal.
With these events, the Healthy Ministry has recommended that pregnant women should get the coronavirus vaccine.
The United States Centers for Disease Control also said that pregnant women should be allowed to receive the vaccine as they are at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 implications.
“People who are pregnant and part of a group recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine may choose to be vaccinated,” the CDC said in a statement.
Source: The Times of Israel