COVID related deaths among pregnant women 2.5 times higher than others
The fatality rate among COVID-19 infected pregnant women in Thailand accounts for 1.85% of all the cases found in pregnant women and is 2.5 times higher than the death rate among patients who have no other influencing factors. The deaths are mostly due to respiratory failure, according to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
CCSA Assistant Spokesperson Dr. Apisamai Srirangsan said today (Wednesday) that the Royal College of Pediatricians of Thailand has expressed serious concern over the deaths of pregnant women infected with COVID-19, citing findings between December and August 11th, which made up the 0.43% of all fatalities from the virus.
The findings conclude that the physical changes women undergo in advanced pregnancy, such as the enlarging of the uterus and the increase of amniotic fluid volume, make it difficult for the lungs to expand fully or for pregnant women to breathe, resulting in respiratory failure.
Dr. Apisamai also said that the findings show 11.8% of fetuses were infected by their mothers during pregnancy, hence the need for vaccination during the third month of pregnancy, adding that vaccine can be administered while breast-feeding.
The Ministry of Public Health is aiming to inoculate 500,000 pregnant women, but only 27,591 of them have been vaccinated since February 28th, including 2,078 who have received two doses.
Conducted by the Disease Control Department, analysis of data gathered between April 1st and August 11th shows that 27% of the infected pregnant women were infected in their 14th to 28th week of pregnancy, 30% percent between their 29th and 42nd weeks and 55% between their 14th and 42nd weeks.
This all means that women who are more than 14 weeks pregnant are more likely to get infected and may suffer from severe symptoms or die.
Dr. Apisamai noted that infection rates in the provinces are rising, especially in the “dark red” zones, predominantly due to infected people returning to their home provinces, citing the cases of Chon Buri, Ayutthaya, Chachoengsao and northeastern provinces.
18,417 new COVID-19 cases were reported today, compared to 21,186 recoveries. Today’s death toll is 297.
189,268 are still undergoing treatment in general and field hospitals and other facilities.