VITAMIN D, Pregnancy, and COVID-19
Alternative Medicine|December 2020
A virus has quickly, and very seriously, presented itself as a threat to all that we hold dear — taking lives, impacting our liberty and surely stealing our happiness.
Dr. Kecia Gaither

The big disease with the tiny name, COVID-19, is caused by a coronavirus, of which there are four types based on protein composition — alpha, beta, delta, and gamma. COVID-19 is a beta coronavirus, which impacts both humans and animals, and it has managed to spread across the globe.

While many human infections appear to be mild, two distant relatives of COVID-19, SERS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) have been responsible for significant outbreaks of lethal pneumonias. Although the overall mortality rate of COVID-19 is lower when compared to SERS and MERS, rates of infectivity are higher. This means that patients with co-morbidities are likely to contract more severe diseases, and subsequently, have a higher risk of mortality.

For the women who are pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic, the typical feelings of joy and giddy anticipation have been quickly replaced with anxiety and concern. There are several questions expecting mothers are asking about the virus’s effect on fetal developmental sequelae, if vertical transmission in utero or during delivery occurs, or if the virus is excreted into breast milk — potentially infecting the neonates. These are all very valid concerns, which no health provider has a definitive answer to.

For women with high-risk conditions such as Lupus, hypertension, or diabetes, the dread is palpable. It has been noted across all media that those with co-morbid conditions have poorer outcomes when diagnosed with COVID-19. Particularly for diabetics, the proof is resounding – the virus attaching to its host like a moth to a flame. The effects of diabetes on the body, particularly if poorly controlled, are many—but the main derangement reflects an increase in inflammation/ oxidative stress, a decrease in immunological competency, and a derangement of clotting factors. This increases the risk of clot formation in the body, which has as a triple additive effect. Diabetes mellitus, as a distinctive co-morbidity, is associated with more severe disease, acute respiratory distress syndrome and increased mortality.

This particular cohort of patients is one that extreme oversight need be paid if COVID-19 infection occurs. Especially because pregnancy in and of itself creates a circumstance of vulnerability for women.

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