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.