The announcement that Donald Trump has tested positive for the Saras-Cove-2 virus has shaken the US a month before the presidential election. Much will now depend on how his condition develops.
A striking feature of the Kovid-19 has been its unpredictability. The infection can cause symptoms related to pneumonia that are characteristic of the disease when it emerges in China, for heart and circulation, or brain and nervous system problems. In other cases, people infected with the virus – including people in their seventies such as Mr. Trump – may suffer without symptoms, or do nothing worse than temporary loss of smell and taste.
Mr. Trump is 74. On average, those in their mid-seventies, who test positive for coronovirus, have about a 20 percent chance of needing hospitalization and a 5 percent chance of dying from Kovid-19 in countries with good medical systems.
Other factors, including weight and general health, can also affect the course of the virus.
“The president’s profile would classify him as unsafe,” said Michael Head, senior research fellow for global health at the University of Southampton in the UK. “He is 74 years old and reportedly overweight. Many people in their seventies will also have further comorbidities that increase the risks of more serious disease. ”
Mr. Trump will get the best care available, which will improve his chances. Sean Conley, the president’s physician, said he expected Mr. Trump to “continue to perform his duties without interruption while recovering”.
This optimistic forecast may be justifiable, but other experts said that it was difficult to predict the future effects of the virus immediately after testing positive.
“With the same positive results, it’s hard to tell where his infection is and when he was infected,” said Julian Tang, consultant virologist at Leicester Royal Infirmary. If symptoms developed, most people remained well enough to remain outside the hospital during the first five to seven days of the disease, Drs. Tang said. “Subsequently, it may become more severe, requiring hospitalization – or they begin to recover by themselves.”
In April, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to St Thomas Hospital in London, 10 days after testing positive for the virus. He spent three days in intensive care.
Independent medical experts were reluctant to speculate about the president’s prediction.
“Donald Trump has some risk factors such as male, older and overweight, but if he does not have a chronic condition and is proactively active, they can offset or increase his risks so that he can avoid infection. Recover faster, ”said Naved Dutt, professor of medicine at the University of Glasgow. “The risk of serious illness and death depends on many factors, and it is not as simple as one or two infections alone.”
It would be important to know that Mr. Trump was infected during Tuesday’s presidential debate to assess the possibility of infecting Mr. Biden and others, said Trish Greenhalgh, a professor of primary healthcare at the University of Oxford.
“There is strong evidence from several sources that the Saras-Cove-2 virus is transmitted through shared air as well as droplets and direct contact,” she said. “People in the same room, even if more than two meters apart, are at risk because the airborne virus eventually reaches all parts of the room.”