COVID-19 in Pregnancy

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Key points

  • Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus.
  • Covid-19 had not been detected in humans before the outbreak in December 2019.
  • As the virus is new, little is known about its effect on certain groups of people, including pregnant women.

Surveillance period

1st March 2020 – 31st March 2021


Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans. An outbreak of Covid-19 was reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019 with increasing global transmission. It is a respiratory illness, the symptoms of which usually include cough, high temperature and feeling short of breath, but it is not known what impact the virus will have on pregnancy women and their babies. Single case reports of Covid-19 infection in pregnant women, with vertical transmission of infection to infants, are emerging, and given known adverse pregnancy outcomes of both SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV[1], a rapid study on Covid-19 infection in pregnancy is important to inform prevention and treatment. 


To use the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS) to determine the incidence of hospitalisation with pandemic Covid-19 infection in pregnancy and assess the outcomes of pandemic Covid-19 in pregnancy for mother and infant. 

Research questions

  • What are the outcomes of Covid-19 infection in pregnancy for both mother and infant?
  • What are the characteristics of women who are hospitalised with pandemic Covid-19 infection in pregnancy and do these characteristics influence disease outcome?
  • How does the treatment of pandemic Covid-19 infection in pregnancy influence outcomes for mother and infant?

Case definition

Any woman admitted to hospital with confirmed Covid-19 infection in pregnancy.


This study is being funded by the NIHR.

Ethics committee approval

This study has been approved by the East Midlands – Nottingham 1 REC 
(Ref. Number: 12/EM/0365).

Study registration

This study is registered with the ISRCTN registry.

Lead investigator

Professor Marian Knight, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford

Download the Data Collection Form (DCF)

UKOSS COVID-19 Form 2020

Full study protocol


  1. ^ 2019-nCoV epidemic: what about pregnancies? Favre G et al. The Lancet 2020. Published online 6 Feb.

Updated: Tuesday, 30 June 2020 16:15 (v18)