The Department of Health has advised pregnant women who have Covid-19 not to take the antiviral medicine “Favipiravir,” saying that the drug may harm fetuses, especially during the first trimester.
Favipiravir, sold under the brand name Avigan among others, is an antiviral medication used to treat influenza in Japan. It is also being studied to treat a number of other viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2. Like the experimental antiviral drugs T-1105 and T-1106, it is a pyrazinecarboxamide derivative.
According to experts, the medicine is normally only administered on a case-by-case basis during the last quarter of pregnancy.
The health agency advised pregnant women, who are asymptomatic, experience moderate symptoms, and are not at high risk of miscarriage, to stay home. It also suggested that they refrain from taking part in any activity with other family members, and use separate restrooms.
According to the department, 70-80 percent of infected pregnant women exhibit minor or no symptoms, and only 10% to 20% experience severe symptoms. Expectant women, who experience difficulty breathing, exhaustion, a high temperature, as well as frequent coughing, or chest pain, are urged to immediately seek medical attention or call the 1330 hotline.
The health department asked that mothers with Covid-19 remain cautious when feeding their children to prevent an infection from taking place. Women in this group should always wear masks, wash hands before and after handling their children, and clean frequently touched surfaces around the house.
The agency went on to suggest that Covid positive women seek help from non-infected relatives to help care for their newborns and to feed them using a bottle.