(CBS4) – After President Donald Trump revealed that he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus, CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida shared some perspective on the troubling news.
Trump called Trump’s age, 74, worrisome, saying “we do know that at the age of 70, your risk does go up rather significantly.”
“In fact, if you take a look at the risk of hospitalization, it’s five times higher risk if you are 70 or older as compared to somebody who is 30 years old. Your risk of death is 90 times higher in the 70 year age group, as compared to somebody who is in their 30s.”
Hnida pointed out that males are at higher risk for complications from COVID. And Trump is overweight — “medically classified as obese” — which is a risk factor for complications.
Trump reportedly just has mild symptoms right now, but Hnida said “it’s way too early to tell” if that will continue to be the case.
“Most people, even at age 74, will do well if they wind up contracting coronavirus. But having said that … we’ve had more than 200,000 Americans die from coronavirus so I don’t know if you can say that it’s going to be mild for him. The other thing to keep in mind is even though symptoms are mild now, what we worry about the most is there seems to be a trend that around day seven or eight into the course of an illness, we worry about a sudden deterioration. That’s a point when people begin to require oxygen or when hospitalizations are at their highest. So I don’t think it’s going to be at least another several days before we have an idea of what the true prognosis is.”
When it comes to returning to the campaign trail for Trump with only a month until the election, Hnida said two factors will come into play:
“The first is: How well does President Trump feel? Is he’s fatigued? Is he coughing? Is he sneezing? Is he having ongoing symptoms for a period of time? The second factor: Is he going to pay attention to the CDC guidelines on removing yourself from self isolation. In other words, going back out into the world. The guidelines state that 10 days after you develop symptoms of COVID or you test positive, you really do need to self isolate, and then at that 10 day point, your symptoms need to be improved and you need to be symptom free for at least 24 hours without using any medication to lower your fever. So it’s really going to be a matter of seeing where things are at day 10.”