Health department warns pregnant women with Covid-19 “don’t take Favipiravir”

Thailand’s Department of Health advises pregnant women with Covid-19 not to take the anti-viral medication Favipiravir. The department’s director-general said especially during the first trimester, Favipiravir might affect fetuses. He said the drug is usually only given during the last quarter of pregnancy, on a case-by-case basis.

The department advised pregnant women who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, and who don’t have a high risk of miscarriage, to isolate at home. It said they should separate from other family members, and use separate bathrooms. It added infected pregnant women shouldn’t eat with family members.

The department says 70-80% of infected pregnant women have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. 10-20% have severe symptoms. The director-general said pregnant women should immediately see a doctor if they have trouble breathing, fatigue, a high fever, frequent coughing, or chest pain while they isolate at home.

Thai health officials admitted last week that there is a shortage of Favipiravir in the country.

The department also urges mothers infected with Covid-19 to be cautious about breastfeeding their babies, to prevent their babies from getting infected. It said women should wear face masks at all times, and wash their hands before touching their children. It added they should “avoid sneezing” while breastfeeding.

The director-general suggested women have a relative who is not infected feed their baby their breast milk from a bottle.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.