SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Women who contract COVID-19 during pregnancy could experience symptoms that are prolonged, possibly lasting two months or longer, according to a new study.

Researchers at UC San Francisco and UCLA studied the outcomes of 594 women across the country who tested positive for the coronavirus during pregnancy. They found half of the participants still had symptoms after three weeks, while 25 percent had symptoms after eight weeks.

The median time for symptoms to resolve was 37 days, more than five weeks, researchers said.

“COVID-19 symptoms during pregnancy can last a long time, and have a significant impact on health and wellbeing,” said Dr. Vanessa Jacoby, the vice chair of research in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at UCSF, who is also the study’s senior author.

The most common early symptoms for pregnant women included cough, sore throat, body aches and fever. Only six percent of the participants in the study had loss of taste or smell as their first symptom.

Participants tested positive between March 22nd and July 10th. A third of the women in the study were health care workers.

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

The study is published in the October 7 issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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