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Washington State University Updates and News

Congratulations Danielle Spellacy!

Congratulations to second-year medical student Danielle Spellacy, who recently won Best Early Career Research Poster at the European Society for Prevention Science conference! Danielle presented the poster titled “Impactful social changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic in prenatal women” and shared the work she has been doing with our collaborative, the WSU COVID-19 Infant, Maternal and Family Health Collaborative.

Link to poster

Link to the media post


From Science Magazine: Prenatal cannabis exposure linked to cognitive deficits, altered behavior

“Regular cannabis exposure in rats during pregnancy may cause their offspring to have long-term cognitive deficiencies, asocial behavior, and anxiety later in adulthood.

That’s according to a new study by neuroscientists in Washington State University’s Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience unit that provides a rare look at the effects of using cannabis during pregnancy.

“The reality of cannabis research is there’s not a lot of it,” said Halle Weimar, first author on the paper and graduate student in the neuroscience program. “This research helps get information out to women so they can make an educated decision that is best for them.””

Link to Article

From the Lancet: Management of pregnant women infected with COVID-19

“Since December, 2019, the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which originated in Wuhan, China, has become a global public health threat.1 On Feb 28, 2020, WHO upgraded their assessment of the risk of spread and the risk of impact of COVID-19 to very high at global level. By March 10, 2020, 116 166 cases have been reported globally, causing 4088 deaths. The epidemic has spread to 118 countries around the world.2

With immunocompromised status and physiological adaptive changes during pregnancy, pregnant women could be more susceptible to COVID-19 infection than the general population. As COVID-19 is rapidly spreading, maternal management and fetal safety become a major concern, but there is scarce information of assessment and management of pregnant women infected with COVID-19, and the potential risk of vertical transmission is unclear. In The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Nan Yu and colleagues3 report the clinical features and obstetric and neonatal outcomes of pregnancy with COVID-19 pneumonia in Wuhan, China. The findings of the study provide some indications for clinical assessment and management of pregnant women with COVID-19, but questions remain on how to manage pregnant women infected with COVID-19.”

Link to Article

From the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Coronavirus (COVID-19), Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding: A Message for Patients

“Experts are learning more every day about the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is following the situation closely. This page will be updated as ACOG learns new information for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Please note that while the page linked below is a page for patients, this page is not meant to give specific medical advice and is for informational reference only. Medical advice should be provided by your doctor or other health care professional.”

Link to Article

From the CDC: Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

“We do not currently know if pregnant people have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public nor whether they are more likely to have serious illness as a result. Based on available information, pregnant people seem to have the same risk as adults who are not pregnant.

However, we do know that

  • Pregnant people have changes in their bodies that may increase their risk of some infections.
  • Pregnant people have had a higher risk of severe illness when infected with viruses from the same family as COVID-19 and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza.”

Link to Article