The symptoms of novel coronavirus are most commonly fever in about 90% of the cases. Dry cough, fatigue and shortness of breath are typically present as well. There are additional symptoms which COVID-19 shares with other viral illnesses, but the lung symptoms are prominent and unique because the virus has an affinity for the lungs. As a matter of fact, greater than 55% of affected persons have abnormal CT Scans when they present to the medical system.
Anyone’s risk of getting it depends on where they live and where they have traveled. As we follow the reports, we see parts of our country that are overwhelmed with cases while reporting is early in others. But there are certain people who are at risk. We have learned a lot from two countries: Italy and South Korea. Looking at those two countries we see stark differences. The death rate among those tested in South Korea is quite low at 0.6% while the death rate in Italy is 6.2%. The reason is that in Italy the population contracting the disease was greater than 70 years of age; while in South Korea the average age was less than 60 years of age. In addition to age, people with heart disease had a death rate of 10.5%. Risk of death was also significantly increased in those with diabetes, lung problems, and high blood pressure. Importantly though, 85% of cases are mild, 10% require oxygen and 5% require a ventilator (breathing machine). There are new reports just surfacing that younger people are not immune. Anyone with lungs is susceptible to the disease. Reports coming out of Italy indicate that a significant number of millennials have become extremely ill with the disease.