COVID-19 linked to increased risk of poor pregnancy outcomes
A retrospective study of a large cohort of US pregnancies during the COVID-19 pandemic found that infection with SARS-CoV-2 was associated with increased risks for poor pregnancy outcomes, an international team of researchers reported today in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Using de-identified administrative claims and electronic health record data for 78,283 US pregnancies with estimated conception before Apr 30, 2020, and pregnancy end after Mar 11, 2020, the researchers measured the incidence of COVID-19 among pregnant women. They then compared the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes in infected versus non-infected women using Cox proportional hazard models that adjusted for confounding factors.
Overall, 2,655 (3.4%) of pregnancies had a documented SARS-CoV-2 infection, and 3.4% of pregnant women with COVID-19 required admission to intensive care, invasive mechanical ventilation, or ECMO treatment. In adjusted hazard models, COVID-19 during pregnancy was not associated with risk of miscarriage, antepartum hemorrhage, or stillbirth, but was associated with a 2-3 fold higher risk of induced abortion (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.60; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.17 to 5.78), cesarean section (aHR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.71 to 2.31), clinician initiated preterm birth (aHR, 2.88; 95% CI, 1.93 to 4.30), spontaneous preterm birth (aHR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.37 to 2.34), fetal growth restriction (aHR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.72 to 2.43), and postpartum hemorrhage (aHR, 2.03; 95% CI, 1.60 to 2.63).
The study supports previous research suggesting increased risk of fetal harm following maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection.
"These findings suggest prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy may confer maternal and fetal health benefits," the authors write. "In addition to handwashing and social distancing measures, with the availability of highly efficacious vaccines, guidelines encouraging vaccination of pregnant individuals, and early results suggesting mRNA vaccine safety in pregnancy, effective prevention of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection is possible."
Dec 27 J Infect Dis study
Two salad-linked Listeria outbreaks tied to 26 illnesses, 3 deaths
State and federal health officials are tracking two separate Listeria outbreaks linked to prepackaged salads, one related to Fresh Express products and the other to Dole products, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Dec 23.
In the Fresh Express outbreak, 10 illnesses have been reported from 8 states. All 10 people were hospitalized, and one death was reported. Interviews with sick people and lab data suggest that Fresh Express prepackaged salads may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. On Dec 20, Fresh Express recalled several brands of its prepackaged salads made in Streamwood, Ill., which include Bowl & Basket, Giant Eagle, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, O Organics, Signature Farms, Simply Nature, Weis Fresh from the Field, and Wellsley Farms Organic.
Meanwhile in the Dole outbreak, 16 illnesses have been reported from 13 states. Twelve people have been hospitalized, and two deaths were reported. Investigations have turned up the outbreak strain in two of Dole's prepackaged salads. On Dec 22, Dole recalled salads covering several of its brands, including Ahold, Dole, Kroger, Lidl, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, Naturally Better, Nature's Promise, and Simply Nature. The items were produced at Dole facilities in Bessemer City, NC, and Yuma, Ariz.
Dec 23 CDC press release
Dec 22 CDC Fresh Express outbreak notice
Dec 22 CDC Dole outbreak notice
More vaccine-derived polio cases reported from African nations
Three African nations reported more polio cases, all involving circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2), the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) said in its latest weekly update.
Nigeria reported 14 cases from six different states, raising its total for the year to 321. Meanwhile, Niger reported five cases from four different locations, bringing its 2021 total to 10.
Elsewhere, Yemen reported 2 cases, one from Aden and the other from Taiz. The country has now reported seven vaccine derived polio cases this year; three involved circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) and four were linked to cVDPV2.
Dec 21 GPEI update