Association Between Number of In-Person Health Care Visits and SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Obstetrical Patients | Infectious Diseases | JAMA | JAMA Network
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    2 Comments for this article
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    Was SARS-CoV-2 Positivity Related to Parity as a Surrogate for Household Exposure to Young Children?
    Liz Jenny-Avital, MD | Jacobi Medical Center; Bronx NY
    To the extent that the influenza-like illness rate, as measured in NYC by our health department's existing syndromic surveillance system, was much higher in children than in adults in early March 2020 suggests that children were numerically (even if not clinically) important in what was eventually recognized as the COVID epidemic.

    Electronic data could be mined for parity, since higher parity is likely a surrogate for more likely exposure to children in the home.

    Insurance--private or public--might be another indirect measure of the ability to socially distance--that might have impacted the likelihood of infection.

    The findings are
    reassuring--but further insights might be gleaned from the data.
    CONFLICT OF INTEREST: None Reported
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    Number of Visits
    Michelle Hauser, MD, MS, MPA | Stanford
    While this study reports no apparent association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and in-person visits, it should be noted that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, these same women would likely have had a much higher number of in-person visits prior to delivery than the ~3 visits listed. This makes it difficult to draw any conclusions about what the risks would be of continuing the typical number of in-person visits. It merely shows a likelihood that this much-reduced schedule of in-person visits is not placing women at increased risk of COVID.
    CONFLICT OF INTEREST: None Reported
    Research Letter
    August 14, 2020

    Association Between Number of In-Person Health Care Visits and SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Obstetrical Patients

    Author Affiliations
    • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
    • 2Division of Pharmacoepidemiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
    JAMA. 2020;324(12):1210-1212. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.15242

    A major concern that has emerged from the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic is patient avoidance of necessary medical care.1 Data regarding how in-person visits to medical facilities influence the risk of contracting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection are limited. Obstetrical patients are a unique group who have required frequent in-person health care visits during the pandemic. The aim of this analysis was to examine whether the number of in-person health care visits was associated with the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

    Mass General Brigham institutional review board approval was obtained for this study and the need for informed consent waived. The study population included all patients delivering at 4 hospitals in the Boston, Massachusetts, area between April 19, 2020, and June 27, 2020, a period during which all obstetrical patients were tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection at the time of admission. All SARS-CoV-2 testing was performed on nasopharyngeal swabs using reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction assays.

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