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Novel coronavirus 2019 testing in women attending routine antenatal care: a cross-sectional study
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  • Daniel Rolnik,
  • Tony Korman,
  • Andrea Rindt,
  • Rhonda Stuart,
  • Michelle Giles,
  • Janine Rawlins,
  • Kirsten PalmerOrcid,
  • Andrew Stripp,
  • Euan Wallace,
  • Ryan Hodges
Daniel Rolnik
Monash Health
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Tony Korman
Monash University
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Andrea Rindt
Monash Health
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Rhonda Stuart
Monash Health
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Michelle Giles
Monash University
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Janine Rawlins
Monash Health
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Kirsten Palmer
Orcid
Monash University
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Andrew Stripp
Monash Health
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Euan Wallace
Monash University
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Ryan Hodges
Monash Health
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Abstract

Objective: Universal screening has been proposed as a strategy to identify asymptomatic individuals infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and mitigate transmission. We aimed to investigate the rate of positive tests among pregnant women attending routine antenatal care. Design: Cross-sectional prevalence study. Setting: Antenatal clinic at three maternity hospitals (one tertiary referral hospital and two secondary maternities) in Melbourne, Australia. Population: Asymptomatic pregnant women attending routine antenatal care and pregnant women undergoing testing with symptoms of possible coronavirus disease. Methods: SARS-CoV-2 testing was offered to all pregnant women attending face-to-face antenatal visits and to those attending the hospital with symptoms of possible coronavirus disease, between 6th and 19th of May 2020. Testing was performed by multiplex-tandem polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on combined oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swabs. Main Outcome Measures: Proportion of positive SARS-CoV-2 tests. Results: SARS-CoV-2 testing was performed in 350 women, of whom 19 had symptoms of possible COVID-19. The median maternal age was 32 years (IQR 28 to 35 years), and the median gestational age at testing was 33 weeks and four days (IQR 28 weeks to 36 weeks and two days). All 350 tests returned negative results (p̂ = 0%, 95% CI 0 to 0.86%). Conclusion: The rate of asymptomatic coronavirus infection among pregnant women in Australia during the study period was negligible, which reflected reassuringly low levels of community transmission.