Wednesday, 28 Oct 2020

Trump age, weight, gender all COVID concerns; not drinking, smoking helps

President Trump was described by his doctor as being “well” after contracting the coronavirus, but his age, weight and gender make him more vulnerable to the disease.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Friday said the 74-year-old president was experiencing “mild symptoms,” but feeling “very energetic.” He wouldn’t say what treatment Trump’s doctors would prescribe him.”

In a memo about the diagnosis, Trump’s doctor earlier wrote that the commander-in-chief was feeling “well.”

About 40 percent of people who are exposed to the bug don’t show any symptoms at all. Symptoms typically appear two to 14 days after exposure, USA Today reported, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A working paper by the US National Bureau of Economic Research published in July put an infected but otherwise healthy 70- to 79-year-old’s risk of dying from the disease at 4.6 percent, Reuters reported.

Trump may have been infected by his aide, Hope Hicks, who is now symptomatic, and who traveled with him. There is mounting data that symptomatic people have higher viral loads than those without symptoms, which could mean that Hicks exposed Trump to higher levels of the virus, according to USA Today.

Trump also rarely wears a mask in public, which “may put him at higher risk of being exposed to a higher viral inoculum,” Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, told the news outlet.

“However, the interplay between host and pathogen is complex and so we will have to wait and observe this carefully,” she added.

If the president was first exposed to the bug on Wednesday, it is still very early for him to begin showing symptoms since people who are symptomatic begin to feel ill within about 11 days, according to the CDC.

The 60 percent of people who develop symptoms can experience fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.

At 74 years old, Trump also is five times more likely to require hospitalization and 90 times more likely to die of the illness than people aged 18 to 29, the agency says.

He also is 6-foot-3 and recently weighed 244 pounds, according to a medical report from June, which gives him a body mass index of 30.5 – just over the line into obesity, USA Today reported.

Obese adults have triple the risk of hospitalization due to the coronavirus, according to the CDC. This is in part due to impaired immune function and decreased lung capacity.

Men have accounted for 54 percent of coronavirus deaths in the US, according to the CDC.

On the plus side, Trump doesn’t drink or smoke, which should improve his general health. Risk of serious illness or death grows markedly among older patients with pre-existing conditions including heart disease and cancer.

Several possible treatments are currently being tested in late-stage trials, including manufactured antibodies designed to stop the virus from invading cells, Reuters reported.

Dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory medication, and the anti-viral remdesivir are the only drug therapies approved for treating hospitalized coronavirus patients, according to the news outlet.

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