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COVID-19 causes rate of stillbirths to double in Mississippi: “A real tragedy”

Coronavirus is taking a lethal toll on pregnant folks and fetuses in Mississippi. Officials introduced on Wednesday that the rate of stillbirths in the state has doubled for the reason that pandemic started final year. 

Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs stated at a livestreamed press conference on Wednesday that whereas “COVID is especially dangerous and problematic for pregnant women,” it may also be “deadly for the baby in the womb.” 

“With COVID, we’ve seen a doubling of the rate of fetal demise, or the death of the baby in the womb after 20 weeks,” Dobbs stated. “It’s been a real tragedy.”

Dobbs stated there have been 72 fetal deaths in the state attributable to COVID-19 for the reason that starting of the pandemic, not together with miscarriages that will have occurred earlier than the 20-week gestation mark, which is “twice the background rate of what would be expected.” 

Over the previous year, there have additionally been seven pediatric deaths in the state due to COVID-19, together with most not too long ago a child who was lower than a year outdated.

“That’s quite a number of tragedies that sadly would be preventable right now,” Dobbs stated. 

Officials additionally stated there are “increasing deaths among pregnant women.” Since March 2020, greater than 1,500 pregnant folks in the state have been recognized with COVID-19, as have greater than 76,900 youngsters underneath the age of 17. 

“We’re still in the thick of the Delta surge. Sadly we’ve seen a pretty significant number of pregnant women not survive COVID in recent weeks,” Dobbs stated. “Currently we are investigating eight reports of pregnant women who have died within the past several weeks, all of whom are unvaccinated.”

Some of the ladies who died have been in a position to ship their infants by way of C-section, officers stated. 

The majority of instances, hospitalizations and deaths in the state, Dobbs stated, are amongst those that are unvaccinated. Just 40% of Mississippi’s whole inhabitants has been absolutely vaccinated, in accordance to state knowledge — one of the bottom charges in the nation.

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In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged pregnant folks to get vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19. The company stated analysis exhibits that unvaccinated pregnant individuals are at an “increased risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications related to COVID-19,” and that those that are vaccinated don’t face an elevated danger of miscarriage.  

CDC data exhibits that lower than 1 / 4 of all pregnant folks in the U.S. are at the least partially vaccinated as of early September.

“CDC encourages all pregnant people or people who are thinking about becoming pregnant and those breastfeeding to get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated in a statement on August 11. “The vaccines are safe and effective, and it has never been more urgent to increase vaccinations as we face the highly transmissible Delta variant and see severe outcomes from COVID-19 among unvaccinated pregnant people.”