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Perinatal outcomes and congenital abnormalities in the newborns of women affected by the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) in Beijing, China

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Published:25th Mar 2020
Objective: To investigate the pregnancy complications, perinatal outcomes, and congenital abnormalities (CAs) that occurred in Beijing, China, when pregnant women became infected with the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) (H1N1pdm). Methods: Pregnancy complications, perinatal outcomes, and CAs were compared among 3 groups of pregnant women. The 23 women in group 1 were confirmed to harbor viral RNA; the 23 in group 2 had serum levels of virus-specific antibodies against H1N1pdm, meaning that they were suspected of being infected with the virus; and the 93 in group 3 had no detectable virus-specific antibodies. Results: Perinatal outcomes and pregnancy complications were not significantly different in groups 1 and 3. Higher percentages of stillbirths (12.0%) and placental disorders (13.0%) were observed in group 2 than in group 3. Many women in group 2 (62.5%) experienced symptoms of having a cold during pregnancy and most took no medication. Two cases of CA occurred in group 1, in the offspring of women infected in the second trimester. Conclusion: When left untreated, infection with the 2009 H1N1pdm virus during pregnancy appears to have increased fetal mortality and morbidity. Because CAs are traumatic for all concerned, their possible association with the virus should be further evaluated.

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