Expert reports about Infections



Note: if you are pregnant, or have been pregnant recently, and were diagnosed with COVID-19 or had a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 by a health care professional, consider enrolling in the International Registry of Coronavirus Exposure in Pregnancy (IRCEP). Go to Your experience can help thousands of other pregnant women around the world.


What is CoViD-19 during pregnancy?

CoViD-19 is an acronym that stands for coronavirus disease of 2019. This disease is a pandemic, a disease that is spreading throughout much of the world. Covid-19 is caused by a virus known as SARS-CoV-2 (pronounced sarz-co-vee-2). A virus is a tiny particle consisting of genetic material called nucleic acid, encased by an outer layer of protein, called a protein coat or a capsid. Some viruses, including SARS-CoV2, also are covered with a fat-like envelope called a lipid bilayer. Viruses are on the boundary between living and not-living. Viruses have the ability to reproduce, like living things, but living things can also change certain chemicals into other chemicals, and viruses cannot do this. Furthermore, in order to produce baby viruses, a virus must hijack the machinery inside a living cell. The term coronavirus refers to a family of viruses that includes SARS-CoV-2 and several other coronaviruses that can infect human beings, most of which cause only common colds, but two of them cause disease as serious as Covid-19. Coronaviruses get their name from a crown-like, or coronal structure that is visible in a virus particle when it is viewed with a very powerful type of microscope called an electron microscope. This coronal structure is the result of a multiple molecules of a particular protein, called the spike protein, protruding outward around the viral particle, similar to the spikes of the crown of the Statue of Liberty. The spike proteins are important, because the virus uses them to attach to a certain protein, called ACE 2, that is present on the surface of various types of body cells.


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