The Corona virus causing Covid-19 (COrona VIrus Disease – 2019) is a virus that spreads quickly, and can cause severe problems with breathing. Fortunately, there is no evidence that pregnant women are more severely affected (in contrast to other viral illnesses like influenza.) Precautions are therefore similar during your pregnancy as if you were not pregnant.

We will carry on ultrasound examinations during pregnancy during the Coronavirus epidemic (and as far as possible during lockdown), as these examinations are essential elements of prenatal care, and cannot be postponed indefinitely. We will take extra precautions, and in the spirit of social distancing request you to:

  • only bring one person along to the ultrasound examination, and
  • leave any children at home.

You can consider coming on your own if you have a LOW Risk of an abnormal finding on ultrasound (bearing in mind that the majority of abnormal findings on ultrasound occur in low risk pregnancies).

Prior to the first trimester ultrasound, you can consider alternatives (such as a virtual genetic consultation).

Please call us beforehand if:

  • you have any symptoms of fever, coughing or shortness of breath;
  • if you have had contact with someone where Coronavirus has been diagnosed (or is suspected); or
  • if you have visited any area with local transmission (e.g. China, Europe or the USA) in the last two weeks, or
  • if you have any other reason for self-isolation or quarantine.

If you should develop symptoms suggestive of Coronavirus infection (fever, coughing, shortness of breath), don’t go to the doctor! Stay at home, and call the Mediclinic coronavirus hotline at 0860240024, or the DoH coronavirus hotline at 0800029999.

Some other sources of information:

Coping with anxiety and depression (Women’s Health Group & South African Society of Psychiatrists)

SASOG (South African Society for Obstetrics and Gynaecology)

ISUOG (International Society for Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology) patient leaflet

Discovery Health

Momentum Health

Mediclinic

Department of Health