What We’re Reading: Pain Reliever Pregnancy Warning; COVID-19 Record Increases; Blood Type and COVID-19 Risk

October 16, 2020

The FDA strengthens its guidance for pain reliever use in pregnant women; the United States sees its greatest increase in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases since August; studies point to association of blood type and COVID-19 risk.

FDA Issues Strengthened Guidelines on Pain Reliever Use Among Pregnant Women

The FDA announced in a Drug Safety Communication that it is requiring label changes for common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil and Aleve, the Associated Press reports. According to the announcement, pregnant women should avoid this class of drugs during the last 4 months of pregnancy. Previous warnings cautioned against use during the last 3 months of pregnancy. The FDA said the drugs can cause a rare but serious complication that may harm the fetus and can lead to kidney problems in the fetus, which can result in low levels of amniotic fluid in the womb. However, the warning does not apply to low-dose aspirin when recommended by a doctor.

US Tops 60,000 COVID-19 Cases for First Time Since August

The United States reported 60,000 new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections for the first time since early August on Thursday, according to The Washington Post. Over 36,000 individuals are currently hospitalized with the disease, and data show the crisis is not localized to certain regions. Rising cases are being reported almost everywhere in the country, with 44 states now reporting higher caseloads than in mid-September. In particular, more rural states like Wisconsin and Illinois have both reported newly reported caseloads greater than during the states’ first waves in April and May. Ohio, Indiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Montana, and Colorado also have reported new highs.

Studies Suggest Association Between Blood Type, COVID-19 Risks

Two studies published in the journal Blood Advance suggest blood type may play a role in the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 or developing life-threatening complications from the illness, NBC News reports. However, the results do not mean that any single blood type is more protective or more dangerous when it comes to the virus. The results also will not change how doctors treat patients with COVID-19. Individuals with any blood type should continue to take the same precautions like wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing hands effectively.