Based on the data available to date, an infected lady will exhibit symptoms of Corona Virus infection not later than 11 days of exposure. It has to be borne in mind that the mean incubation period of the virus is 5 to 7 days, during which period, she will be asymptomatic and may infect others in her vicinity.
Fortunately, although women are more susceptible to infection during pregnancy, they don’t appear to be more prone than other infected individuals to the effects of the Covid-19 infection.
Unfortunately, Respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 infection, which are likely to be the predominant initial signs of infection by the Corona virus are easily mistaken for symptoms of Flu or common Cold. Mild to moderate cough, sore throat and fever are likely to be the symptoms presented by most pregnant ladies infected by Covid-19, mimicking symptoms of those suffering from u or Cold. It is important for the pregnant woman and her immediate family to understand this. It is the delay in isolation and treatment that can cause complications and result in spread of the infection.
In a few patients there may be breathing difficulty, including shortness of breath, requiring hospitalisation (SARI).
Other commonly found respiratory pathogens, including the common cold virus, are often seen as co-infections along with the COVID-19 infection.
To be able to differentiate from common cold or Flu, history taking by the medical team assumes critical importance and should be detailed. It should account for any recent history of foreign travel or contact with somebody who has been abroad or contact with a known Covid-19 case.
Those women who have co-morbidities like asthma, diabetes, hypertension, etc may present with pneumonia and marked by hypoxia (shortage of oxygen in the body tissues).
In elderly pregnant women and those who are Immunocompromised, presence of atypical features such as body ache, malaise, fatigue and/or nausea and diarrhoea may also be seen.