From the Editor

COVID-19: We are in a war, without the most effective weapons to fight a novel viral pathogen

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Gynecologic care

Gynecologists are highly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most state governments have requested that all elective surgery be suspended for the duration of the pandemic in order to redeploy health resources to the care of COVID-19 patients. Except for high-priority gynecologic surgery, including cancer surgery, treatment of heavy vaginal bleeding, and surgical care of ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage, most gynecologic surgery has ceased.

All office visits for routine gynecologic care have been suspended. Video and telephone visits can be used for contraceptive counseling and prescribing and for managing problems associated with the menopause, endometriosis, and vaginitis. Cervical cancer screening can be deferred for 3 to 6 months, depending on patient risk factors.

Medicines to treat COVID-19 infections

There are many highly effective medicines to manage HIV infection and medicines that cure hepatitis C. There is an urgent need to develop precision medicines to treat this disease. Early in the pandemic some experts thought that hydroxychloroquine might be helpful in the treatment of COVID-19 disease. But recent evidence suggests that hydroxychloroquine is probably not an effective treatment. As the pandemic has evolved, there is evidence that remdesivir may have modest efficacy in treating COVID-19 disease.20 Remdesivir has received emergency-use authorization by the FDA to treat COVID-19 infection.

Remdesivir

Based on expert opinion, in the absence of high-quality clinical trial evidence, our current practice is to offer pregnant women with severe or critical COVID-19 disease treatment with remdesivir.

Remdesivir (Gilead Sciences, Inc) is a nucleoside analog that inhibits RNA synthesis. A dose regimen for remdesivir is a 200-mg loading dose given intravenously, followed by 100 mg daily given intravenously for 5 to 10 days. Remdesivir may cause elevation of hepatic enzymes. Remdesivir has been administered to a few pregnant women to treat Ebola and Marburg virus disease.21

Experts in infectious disease are important resources for determining optimal medication regimens for the treatment of COVID-19 disease in pregnant women.

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