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COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 and its Effects on Pregnant and Postpartum Women

The effects of the COVID-19 virus on the world cannot be overemphasised, but for some groups of people, it hits different. Pregnancy is a life-changing event with symptoms and illnesses that sometimes differ in women, but each illness is as uncomfortable as the next. Postpartum mothers are not left out of it because some mothers tend to suffer from baby blues and even postpartum depression. Imagine then all these combined with the COVID-19 virus. It is a whole lot to handle. That’s why pregnant women are always advised to get tested for COVID-19 testing and get the vaccines as soon as possible.

COVID-19 testing tend to be crowded, especially in populated areas. Pregnant women need to be cared for and attended to with respect. Some pregnant women may have reservations about the COVID-19 tests and vaccination, so health workers should be able to assure them that both are safe and highly recommended.

A pregnant woman is equally prone to contracting the COVID-19 virus as another person. Still, when they do, it is a more severe case than a non-pregnant woman getting the virus because pregnant women are more likely to have severe illnesses. They might even have to be taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in some cases. It’s usually riskier for older women, women with pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, and overweight women. There’s also the issue of pregnancy complications because of the virus, but on the bright side, it is only in sporadic cases that the virus can infect the foetus. Although, for safety purposes, after birth, the baby should be tested, isolated from other babies, and cared for specially. In truth, these complications can be avoided, if pregnant women get vaccinated. There are questions about whether a pregnant woman with the COVID-19 virus has to give birth by caesarean section, and the answer is no. Caesarean section is only recommended when necessary, and the pregnant woman has the right to choose her preferred mode of birth.

Suppose a symptomatic mother contracts the virus during her postpartum period. In that case, she can still breastfeed her baby, but with all the necessary precautionary steps taken, like washing of hands before and after carrying the baby, wearing a facemask, and disinfecting near surfaces. The baby should be held skin-to-skin while being fed. Alternatively, if the mother cannot handle breastfeeding at that time, the baby should be fed expressed breast milk by a trusted, healthy caregiver until the mother fully recovers. In this case, she has to wash her hands thoroughly and put on a facemask before pumping. It is not yet certain that the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted to the baby through breast milk, but it is unlikely. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO), in a study, discovered that breast milk samples from 3 mothers involved contained the COVID-19 virus, while 43 samples tested negative. Also, it is highly recommended that breastfeeding mothers be vaccinated rather than wait till after breastfeeding. The vaccine can induce COVID-19 antibodies in the mother which could seep into the breast milk and serve as a protective agent for the baby.

In conclusion, COVID-19 has its effects on pregnant and postpartum women, and that is why it is best for them to get tested and vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid further complications.

Pregnant women should have frequent visits to their obstetrician-gynaecologists (ob-gyn) to help with decisions concerning the COVID-19 testing and vaccination and other pregnancy-related issues. They should also be able to do their research and ask questions every step of the way. Pregnant and postpartum women deserve all the care and help they can get, and it is only fitting to take care of them more in cases where they are affected by the COVID-19 virus during these delicate periods.

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COVID-19 testing

Effects of covid-19 on the respiratory system

The respiratory system is one of the sensitive areas in the body. It is the organs and tissues that function together to aid breathing. These organs include the airways, blood vessels, and the lung. The airways are in two different divisions, the upper and lower airways. The upper airways are the Nose, mouth, and throat, while the other consist of the trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, and alveoli. The muscles that aid the lungs are also part of the respiratory system.

These organs and tissues are relevant parts of the body. They enable us to;

Perceive and talk.

Warm the air to our body temperature and moisturise it to the appropriate humidity level.

Deliver oxygen to the body cells.

Relieve the body of waste gases, including carbon dioxide, by exhaling.

Help protect the airways from toxic and hazardous chemicals.

Effects on the respiratory system

Covid-19 is a transmissible infection that spreads from one person to another through particles from the upper respiratory system. These particles are discharged when an infected person coughs, talks, or sneezes. If the infected particles stay in the upper airways, it causes symptoms like dry cough and sneezing. But when it goes further into the lower airways, the lungs precisely, it causes severe symptoms such as the seizure of breath and low oxygen levels.

People with existing respiratory issues are at higher risk of getting infected by the virus. Issues like diabetes, lung infections that are chronic, cancer, kidney disease, and obesity.

The impact on the respiratory system and the human body generally is not favourable. Therefore, tests are necessary for the detection of the virus. The PCR test London is a perfect way to start your testing journey.

Covid-19 may lead to lung diseases such as Pneumonia and, in some severe instances, ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome). Another covid-19 issue is sepsis which can cause long-term damage to the lungs and other organs. More airway disorders, such as bronchitis, may be caused by the virus, which may require immediate hospitalisation.

Pneumonia

In pneumonia, the lungs become swollen and filled with fluid, causing breathing problems. Breathing issues in certain patients might become serious if they require hospital care with oxygen or possibly a machine.

Pneumonia caused by the virus usually affects both lungs. Shortness of breath, cough and other symptoms result when air sacs in the lungs are filled with fluid, reducing their capacity to take in oxygen.

While most individuals recover from pneumonia without any long-term effects, pneumonia caused by the virus can be severe. Even when the sickness is gone, lung injuries can cause breathing problems that take months to recover.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)

If covid-19 pneumonia advances, more air sacs may get clogged with fluid spilling from the blood veins in the lungs. The difficulty in breathing that develops can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a type of lung failure. Patients with ARDS are frequently unable to breathe without aid and require ventilator assistance to help them.

ARDS is deadly whether it happens at home or in the hospital. People who recover from ARDS and covid-19 may have long-term lung injuries.

Sepsis

Sepsis is another effect of a severe case of covid-19. It occurs when an infection enters the bloodstream and spreads throughout the body, causing tissue damage.

The heart, lungs, and other internal systems function together. This collaboration between the organs breaks in sepsis and the lungs, heart, and other organs begin to shut down. Even if a patient survives sepsis, the organs in the body might be permanently damaged.

These lung diseases are some of the drastic effects of covid-19. Majorly, difficult breathing is one of the most significant effects of the virus on the system. And we are advised to do the PCR test and take the vaccine shots, especially for those at higher risk of getting infected. The vaccination will help boost the immune system, while the test will aid the detection of the virus for proper treatment.