After a number of recent studies that suggest pregnant women are exposed to higher risks from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) adds them to the list people vulnerable to Covid-19.
The FOPH move is in line with a warning from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The NHS in the UK has also included pregnant women on the list of people at moderate risk (clinically vulnerable) as a precaution.
Pregnant women appear to be at a higher risk from Covid-19 compared to the general population and the risks appear highest among older women, women who are overweight or obese and those with comorbidities.
However, even after adjusting for age, comorbidities and ethnicity, one study suggests that pregnant women with Covid-19 are 5.4 times more likely to be hospitalised and 1.5 times more likely to be admitted to intensive care.
The reasons for the higher risk are not clear. One hypothesis is that the immune system adjusts in pregnant women to make sure it does not create any antifetal immune response and this changes the way the body responds to Covid-19, according to a recent article published by Science, which looks at the subject.