Research on the Coronavirus is constantly changing as the medical community has never seen anything like it before. Recently, Penn researchers found that the rate of exposure to the virus among Black and Hispanic expectant mothers is five times higher than exposure among Caucasian and Asian women.
“Pregnant women are fairly representative of community exposure, and these data provide more evidence, on top of what we already know with COVID-19, that health and socio-economic equity are inextricably linked,” associate professor of Microbiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Dr. Scott Hensley PhD, who led the research project, said of the study, which was published in Science Immunology. “Hopefully, this will help lead to policies that address these inequities.”
The research measured the levels of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies to estimate the rates of exposure to the virus in pregnant women who were patients at two Philadelphia hospitals. Overall, the study concluded that, 6.2 percent of these women possessed antibodies to the virus, but with significant variation across racial and ethnic groups — 9.7 percent in Black women, 10.4 percent in Hispanic/Latina women, 2.0 percent in White/Non-Hispanic women, and 0.9 percent in Asian women.
“Identifying the disparity in virus exposure will ideally help lead to the discovery of what is causing these differences, including factors rooted in systemic racism, and inform public health measures aimed at preventing further infections,” associate professor of pediatrics and neonatologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Karen Marie Puopolo, who also co-led the study, commented on their work.
Of course, as the virus continues to evolve, so do the studies. If you have specific questions and concerns about this study and any others that pertain to the Coronavirus, make sure to contact your health care provider. To make sure that you stay safe and healthy, here are five top recommendations for pregnant women to protect themselves from Coronavirus:
1. Social distance
2. Avoid crowded places
4. Wash your hands
5. Listen to reputable sources of information