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An array of studies show that stillbirths have surged globally following lockdowns imposed in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, and researchers speculate the link could be from pregnant women avoiding hospitals and clinics out of fear of catching the virus while seeking prenatal care.

What are the details?

Nature cited a slew of studies this week in reporting that stillbirth rates have risen "dramatically" since the pandemic began, and that "emerging data link disrupted pregnancy services to [the] increase in stillbirths.


Jane Warland, a specialist in midwifery at the University of South Australis in Adelaide told the outlet, "What we've done is cause an unintended spike in stillbirth while trying to protect [pregnant women] from COVID-19."

Stillbirths were reported to have risen 50% in the largest study conducted, which followed 20,000 women in Nepal. Nature noted, "The sharpest rise was observed during the first four weeks of the lockdown, under which people were allowed to leave their homes only to buy food and receive essential care."

Studies from India, the United Kingdom, and Scotland also showed the same disturbing trend.

Perinatal epidemiologist Ashish K.C. at Uppsala University in Sweden, who conducted the Nepal study, also blamed lockdowns on the high stillbirth rates rather than coronavirus infections. K.C. pointed to the fact that many pregnant women studied had appointments canceled due to restrictions, were unable to use public transportation due to shutdowns, and said others likely avoided in-person clinic visits out of fear of contracting COVID-19.

Data indicates those fears have justification, too. CBS News reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study on COVID-19 and pregnancy this week that shows pregnant women infected with the coronavirus were 25% more likely to have preterm deliveries.

A separate report from the CDC earlier this year noted that "pregnancy was associated with hospitalization and increased risk for intensive care unit admission, and receipt of mechanical ventilation, but not with death."

The Daily Mail pointed out:

In May, a poll found that nearly half of pregnant women were afraid to be in public and risk exposing themselves - and their unborn babies to coronavirus.

With non-essential medical appointments discouraged, many prenatal visits moved online.

It was an important stop-gap, but ran the risk of missed signs of symptoms that could imperil a pregnancy, such as an irregular fetal heartbeat, or preeclampsia, a form of pregnancy-related high blood pressure that can raise risks of stillbirth.

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Tags: world pregnant women

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The Fear Factor Returns With These Halloween Haunts Happening Around Town

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Boo! It’s that time of year again when Halloween ghosts and goblins start popping up all over town but this year, the events that are taking place will require social distancing and masks, and we’re not talking about Halloween masks.

With South Florida now in phase 2 of reopening and COVID positivity rates continuing to trend downward, there is still some Halloween fun to be had for young and old alike.

New this year are South Florida’s first Halloween drive-thru attractions so you can get your spook on in the comfort and safety of your own vehicle.

While many events have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are some still taking place but with plenty of enhanced safety protocols for your protection.

So here’s a list of some of the haunted Halloween events happening around town.


Pinto’s Farm pumpkin Patch (Source:

Pumpkin Patch at Pinto’s Farm– Pedal boats, tractor rides, race karts, pony rides, playground, bounce house, scarecrow forest, and hay maze.  All visits are conducted with a guided tour by appointment only.

  • WHERE: Pinto’s Farm at Redland Citrus Orchards: 14890 SW 216 Street, Miami, FL 33170
  • WHEN: Weekends in October.
  • TICKETS: $27.99 all ages, under 2 FREE, includes unlimited rides and activities.
  • You must call to reserve your tour. (305) 878-4662

The Little Farm (Source: Facebook/TheLittleFarm)

Pumpkin Patch at Little Farm Miami Dade– Pumpkins, pony rides, petting farm, scarecrow kits and harvest décor. Plus, great photo ops among the Fall decorations.

  • WHERE: The Little Farm at 13401 S.W. 224 Street, Goulds, Florida 33170.
  • WHEN: October 12 – October 27, Saturdays and Sundays
  • TIME: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
  • TICKETS: $10 per person.
  • All visits are by appointment only

The number of people on the premises will be limited to 150, first come first serve basis.


Not So Spooky Drive-Thru Adventure & Pumpkin Patch – Miami’s first drive-thru Pumpkin Patch including a Trick-or-Treat Alley, lots of goodie bags and photo opportunities.  It’s radio-guided not-so spooky adventure that takes everyone in the vehicle on an interactive Halloween journey.

  • WHERE: Tamiami Park at 11201 SW 24th St. Miami; enter on Coral Way and 114th.
  • WHEN: October 3 – October 31, Saturdays and Sundays
  • TIME: Noon – 7:00 pm
  • TICKETS:  $45 per CAR, pre-sale early bird discounts are $29. All tickets available online.

Other annual Halloween events for the kids are still to be determined including Zoo Miami’s Zoo Boo, Monster Splash at the Miami Seaquarium, Spooky Science Monster Mash at Frost Museum, Pinecrest Garden’s Howl-O-Ween, Halloween on Lincoln Road, and City of South Miami Safe Streets Halloween Trick or Treating.


For the older crowd or simply brave at heart, there is also South Florida’s first drive-thru haunted attraction.


Horrorland: The Drive-Thru Haunted Attraction is described as a fully immersive attraction where you become the protagonist of an unraveling horror movie happening around you in real time. Monsters, ghosts, zombies and creatures of the night will try to scare you while you sit in your car and drive through 7 different themed haunted houses. The time of the attraction is about 35 minutes. There is no physical contact. This event is not recommended for young children. If you want to roll down your windows, you must wear a mask.

  • WHERE: Miramar Regional Park at 16801 Miramar Parkway, Miramar, FL 33027
  • WHEN: October 1 – October 31, Thursdays through Sundays
  • TIME:  7:00pm – 11:00pm
  • TICKETS: $38.99 – $68.99 per CAR and group rates are avilable. Tickets must be purchased in advance and online.

There seven different themed haunted houses are: Alice in Horrorland, Christmas Nightmare, Creepy Carnival, Zombie Apocalypse, Farm of Horrors, Asylum of Darkness, and Scream’s Cemetery.


A Nightmare At The Curtiss Mansion is dubbed the most spine-chilling and terrifying haunt in Miami. Get ready for a night you’re going to wish you could forget as you experience Sleep Paralysis in a night of Nightmares. From real-life horror stories to the supernatural, there is something that will scare anyone brave enough to visit. There are demons, cannibals, clowns and witches and that is only the beginning. Enhanced safety protocols require masks be worn at all times, temperature will be taken at the entrance, social distancing is a must, no physical contact  with staff and no purses or backpacks allowed.

  • WHERE: Curtiss Mansion 500 Deer Run Miami Springs, FL 33166
  • WHEN:  October 3 – October 31, mostly weekends
  • TIME: 7:00pm – 11:00pm
  • TICKETS:  $15 – $25.  Must be purchased in advance and online. Limited tickets per time slot to avoid large crowds and ensure social distancing.


Titanic Masquerade Costume Party is a 3-hour cruise on the 4-story, $40 million dollar mega yacht the SeaFair featuring 2 levels of music, 4 hour premium open bar and spacious SKY Deck to give you amazing views of Miami. Upgrades available. This party is for the over 21 crowd and you must wear a mask in strict accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.

  • WHERE: 100 Chopin Plaza in downtown Miami.
  • WHEN:  Saturday, October 31
  • TIME: 7:00pm (Check in begins 630pm with COVID waivers and temperature checks). Cruise from 7:45pm – 10:45pm. Disembark 11:00pm
  • TICKETS:  $149 – $3,495

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