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UCSF look for pregnant women to participate in study to find out how COVID-19 could affect them

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – A group of researchers at UCSF are looking for pregnant women to participate in a study.

With just a handful of donations and small grants, they are working to find out how COVID-19 could affect women who are pregnant.

They will focus on 10,000 women from all over the country.

“We just don’t know, this is a new virus. We are learning new things about it every day that are surprising us and unless we really rigorously look at what happens to pregnancy and especially to the development of these babies we are not necessarily going to know,” Heather Huddleston said. 

Heather Huddleston is one of six investigators at UCSF working on a study to find out if COVID-19 affects pregnant women or their developing babies.

“What’s happening now is you’re hearing case reports coming out where there’s like a handful of patients studied,” Huddleston said. 

Huddleston says not enough research has been done.

They plan to look at 10,000 pregnant women and their babies focusing on the first trimester.

They hope to answer questions like:

  • Is it safe to get pregnant now?
  • Are pregnant women at higher risk for severe illness if they get COVID-19?
  • Are women exposed during the first trimester at higher risk of miscarriage or preterm delivery?
  • And even if women don’t get symptoms, could the virus affect their pregnancy?

Women who participate in the study will submit symptom tracking reports and collect finger-stick blood samples from home at several points throughout their pregnancy.

“We are hoping to do is actually follow the babies through past even the first year of life so we want to make sure we are really not just looking at what happens at delivery but looking at how these children develop and make sure there really hasn’t been any significant concerning things happening,” Huddleston said.

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