(HealthDay News) — COVID-19 symptoms are prolonged in pregnant women and persist for eight or more weeks in 25 percent, according to a study published online Oct. 7 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Yalda Afshar, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study involving women who were currently pregnant or up to six weeks postpregnancy with known or suspected severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection to analyze the clinical presentation and disease course of COVID-19.

The researchers found that 736 of 991 participants enrolled from March 22 to July 10, 2020, had COVID-19 symptoms at the time of testing; 594 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 142 tested negative. Thirty-seven percent were nulliparous; the mean age was 31.3 years. Of the study participants, 31 percent were Latina and 9 percent were Black. Among patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection, the most prevalent first symptoms were cough, sore throat, body aches, and fever (20, 16, 12, and 12 percent, respectively). There was a median of 37 days to symptom resolution. Twenty-five percent of those testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 had persistent symptoms at eight or more weeks after onset of symptoms.

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“The majority of participants in our study population had mild disease and were not hospitalized,” Afshar said in a statement. “Even so, it took a median of 37 days for symptoms to ease.”

One author disclosed financial ties to UpToDate and reported being a vaccine consultant for GlaxoSmithKline.

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