Pregnant Roodepoort woman tests positive for Covid-19

09 April 2020 - 06:00 By Naledi Shange
A Roodepoort woman who tested positive for the coronavirus says a lot of the symptoms she had seemed typical for a pregnancy.
A Roodepoort woman who tested positive for the coronavirus says a lot of the symptoms she had seemed typical for a pregnancy.
Image: File

A 30-year-old pregnant woman from Roodepoort has tested positive for Covid-19.

Morgan Brink said she received her positive result on April 1, days after returning from a cruise on the MSC Orchestra.

“I did the test on March 25 and I got my test results on April 1. And no, it was no April Fool’s joke. My doctor phoned me and told me to go straight to hospital just so we could check everything because I am pregnant,” she said.

Brink and 10 other family members, including her husband and three-year-old son, had boarded the cruise ship on March 16 and returned four days later.

Morgan Brink with her husband and son. Morgan is just over five months pregnant and has tested positive for Covid-19.
Morgan Brink with her husband and son. Morgan is just over five months pregnant and has tested positive for Covid-19.
Image: Supplied / Morgan Brink

“I started with a slight cough on March 19 on the ship, but I thought it was the aircon. When we got back, my son got tonsillitis and we took him to the doctor. The doctor decided to test both of us just to be sure since we were on the cruise ship and did not want to risk anything,” she said.

“We both did the test and his was negative but I came back positive.”

Since then, the rest of her family members have also tested negative.

So far, it has only been Brink and one other person who was aboard the ship who tested positive for the virus.

“They also found traces of malaria in my blood. We were supposed to get off in Mozambique but because of this whole thing, they didn’t let us off the boat. We sailed to Mozambique, it turned around and we came back - and thank goodness we didn’t because we wouldn’t have wanted to make other people sick,” she said.

Brink said they have been in isolation since their return from the cruise and have only gone out for the doctor’s visit.

Brink, who is still struggling with a cough, said her symptoms had become severe after she received her test results.

“I had a really bad cough but I didn’t develop a fever. They do say that every person has different symptoms and that is what makes the disease very dangerous,” she said.

Being 21 weeks pregnant, Brink likened a lot of the symptoms she had with what would be experienced during pregnancy — apart from the cough. She said she had headaches, a very sore body and she was extremely tired.

“The nights are worse. My chest closes up so badly that I can’t talk. Because I am pregnant, they can’t give me any medication for the symptoms apart from Panado and non-alcohol medication,” she said.

Her pregnancy cravings have remained the same — salty foods and some chocolate every now and then.

“But last week, I couldn’t taste any food. It’s like a really bad cold when you have a blocked nose and you can’t taste food. My nose wasn’t blocked yet I couldn’t taste anything. So I could smell the food but when I tasted it, there was nothing,” she said.

“It only lasted for a few days,” she added.

One thing that Brink was grateful for though, was that her baby was unlikely to be harmed.

“From all the research they have done, it doesn’t affect the baby. The placenta, my immune system, blocks it from the baby,” she said.

In March, TimesLIVE published an AFP article which quoted Chinese scientists saying that though possible, it was very rare for the coronavirus to be passed from pregnant mothers to their babies.

“It is scary knowing you have this international virus. But to other pregnant women who may contract the virus, you will need a good support system. You need to also keep positive for your baby,” she said.

And for those who are pregnant and without the disease, she called for extra caution during this period.

Brink was expecting to have a re-test done on Thursday which she hoped would come back negative.

“Today is my 14th day since I had the test. They say the virus stays for 14 days and then its out, though symptoms can last for up to six weeks,” she said.

The UN Children’s Fund, Unicef, has done its own research on how the virus affects pregnant women.

“At this time, there is not enough evidence to determine whether the virus is transmitted from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, or the potential impact this may have on the baby. This is being investigated,” the group said.

“Pregnant women should continue to follow appropriate precautions to protect themselves from exposure to the virus, and seek medical care early if experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing.” 


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