Notice for patients: Coronavirus (COVID-19/ SARS-CoV-2)
Dear patients and citizens seeking advice and assistance!
As an assisted reproduction centre, even we are striving to protect our patients against potential coronavirus infection as best possible. At present, there is a prevalence of uncertainty, because a vast quantity of contradictory information is available in the media and on social networks. The “infodemic” - meaning the surplus of rumors, false reports and fake news - is minimally as problematic as the epidemic itself! For this reason, we strive to provide you with objective and up-to-date information on the topic of assisted reproduction, pregnancy and coronavirus disease, and to observe the recommendations of authorities and healthcare facilities.
We ask you not to visit our assisted reproduction centre if you are suffering from symptoms suggesting coronavirus infection, or if you have spent time in any of the current high-risk areas in recent weeks, or have come into contact with potentially infected individuals.
Currently, the high-risk areas are:
- In China: Province Hubei (inkl. City Wuhan)
- In South Korea: Province Gyeongsangbuk-do (Nord-Gyeongsang)
Source: Robert-Koch-Institut (RKI): Status: 10th March 2020
At present, the health risk for citizens e.g .in Germany is classified as moderate. (Source: RKI: Status: 2 March 2020, 12:30 p.m.). Contagion from person to person is the gravest means of infection. In general, the same preventive, protective and hygienic measures as those applicable during ordinary flu season should be observed. This includes proper hand hygiene, not shaking hands when greeting and keeping a distance from individuals who are ill - including people with cold or flu symptoms.(https://www.infektionsschutz.de/coronavirus-sars-cov-2.html).
COVID-19 infection is generally mild, sometimes entirely asymptomatic. The level of danger of the pathogen cannot yet be reliably assessed - but it seems to be substantially lower than in the case of MERS or SARS, and is likely to be comparable to the seasonal flu (source: AGES, status: 3 March 2020, https://www.ages.at/themen/krankheitserreger/coronavirus/). In some cases, the course of the illness can be severe. The illness tends to be fatal primarily among the elderly and/or individuals with a severe chronic health anamnesis.
At present, there is no reason to believe that COVID-19/ SARS-CoV-2 infection would have a more severe progression among pregnant women than women who are not pregnant. Likewise, no cases of transmission of the virus to an unborn child have been described or confirmed yet (status: 2 March 2020).
In addition to the usual preventive measures, we recommend that patients who wish to get pregnant be vaccinated against the flu, not least to avoid concurrent infection with COVID-19/ SARS-CoV-2 and the flu. This applies both to unvaccinated pregnant women and unvaccinated women who wish to get pregnant. Vaccination against the flu virus poses no threat to pregnant women, and does not require the postponement of pregnancy therapy, because it is a “dead vaccine”. Therefore, pregnancy is not a contraindication to flu vaccination. Although the 2019/2020 flu season has most likely already peaked, you should get a flu vaccination even now. In fact, vaccination against the flu is explicitly recommended for pregnant women. The Standing Committee on Vaccination in Germany (STIKO) recommends flu vaccination for all pregnant women from the 2nd trimester; if there is a higher health risk due to other medical problems (e.g. asthma or diabetes), from the 1st trimester of pregnancy.