President Trump rejected the severity of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States over the weekend by downplaying the effects of the disease and saying that tests have identified many cases of tens of millions of Americans, "99 percent" of whom are "completely harmless." "Are. ”
His statements about a virus that has killed nearly 130,000 people have been confusing. The corona virus is on the rise in the Sunbelt states and has recovered in California. It is known that at least 2.8 million Americans are infected, and public health officials have indicated that the actual number of infections could be ten times higher.
WHAT TO SAY
Likewise tests – there were no tests for a new virus, but now we have tested over 40 million people. In this way, we show cases of which 99 percent are completely harmless. Results that no other country will show, because no other country has tests that we have – not in terms of number or quality.
Not correct. Regardless of how you define harmlessly, most public health experts and respected models of coronavirus disease would completely disagree with Mr. Trump's assessment.
Calculating the toll of a fast-moving pandemic while it is still raging is a Sisyphean feat, with outbreaks in different parts of the country, even if improvements in care and new therapies reduce mortality rates.
Experts say the president apparently only recorded an estimated 1 percent or less mortality rate, which does not cover the full impact of the disease, and excludes a large number of thousands, weeks in the hospital or weeks at home with mild to moderate symptoms still causing debilitating health problems.
This mortality rate is narrowly focused on the number of people who die in relation to the total number of people affected – including those who are asymptomatic and have no disease and those with mild cases who experience volatile symptoms.
A rough calculation of the US death rate, based on the total number of deaths officially attributed to the virus and the number of cases diagnosed by testing, suggests that the mortality rate is higher and 4.5 percent of those infected die. However, many experts agree that this rate is likely to be inflated, as the denominator overlooked so many cases at this point, including those that were never diagnosed due to test deficiencies and those that were asymptomatic.
And some experts pointed out that even those who tested positive but showed no symptoms should not be considered harmless cases – they can inadvertently transmit the virus to others in the community who are more vulnerable and who may develop an acute illness .
Studies that calculated the mortality rate based on broader antibody tests that take these silent cases into account indicate an infection mortality rate of less than 1 percent, said Dr. Ashish K. Jha, the faculty director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.
"It is always difficult to do this in the midst of a pandemic," said Dr. Yeah. “There are many factors that contribute to this. Let's say you happened to have taken 1,000 Americans who were all infected. We assume that between six and ten would likely die from the virus. "
And the mortality rate does not cover all the damage caused by the disease. Up to 15 to 20 percent of known Covid-19 patients may need to be hospitalized, and some 15-20 percent of the approved group will be transferred to the intensive care unit by the approved group.
In addition to hospitalization, another consideration that would make defining harmlessness more difficult is the long-term impact for so many who have recovered or are still struggling to regain their lives before Covid.
Patients who are lucky enough to survive a long hospital stay and weeks in an intensive care unit or on a ventilator face a long road to recovery. Many suffer from long-term debilitating effects, including pulmonary dysfunction, neurological problems and cognitive deficits, and some may require lifelong care and may not regain complete independence.
Some patients have long illnesses with fever and weakness that last for weeks. The disease has also been linked to strokes that can be disabling, and much is still unknown about how the disease affects the immune system in the long term. Remaining symptoms such as persistent shortness of breath, muscle weakness, flashbacks and mental fog can last for some time.
"We don't even appreciate the long-term effects of Covid, even if it's mild and moderate forms of Covid that have never been hospitalized," said Dr. Thomas McGinn, deputy chief physician at Northwell Health and director of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, who is studying the long-term effects of the disease.
"Are there persistent effects that last three months, six months, a year, or longer? The question of what percentage has long-term consequences and how serious the consequences are is unclear, ”said Dr. McGinn. "We have definitely seen people who have lung scars and went home with fibrotic changes in the lungs who still have difficulty breathing. And there are people who have persistent changes in their taste and smell after three months. It's not a small one Problem: People rely on smell and taste to enjoy life. "