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COVID-19: ‘Fatality Depends On Patient’s Comorbidities Like Age’

Dr. Aditi Sethi from Dr. Bhutani Clinic shares valuable insights on the pandemic corona disease.

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The severity of the corona pandemic situation is still not fully charted. Few experts have predicted it could lead to a start of a major recession in the global economy, whereas another group of experts has said the coronavirus could end by June if countries take strong action. Meanwhile, countries have been piling losses. China, where the disease-outbreak originated, has reported suffering its industrial output fallout to its lowest levels on record in the first two months of the year. The United States on Friday had announced a national emergence following the financial markets took repeated hits as a consequence of the corona pandemic. 

For the same reason, given the seriousness of the situation being realized globally, the pandemic has led to the spread of panic in Indian citizens. In India, a 76-year old man who was treated with COVID-19 (previously known as 2019 novel coronavirus) has died. In a recent announcement made by PM Narendra Modi, India was assembling a rapid response team of doctors and specialists, along with testing kits and other equipment. His message was: “Prepare, but do not panic”.

Again, at the time of filing the story, the Ministry of Family and Health Welfare has shared that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across India has surged to 107, including 17 foreign nationals. Given the spread of the disease moving across distances and the corresponding preparedness for the same scaling up, what future holds for us in shaded with suspicion and questions. Keeping the dire situation in mind, Dr. Aditi Sethi, Director and Consultant, Dr. Bhutani’s Clinic addressed the common pressing concerns with what’s in everyone’s mind, the Covid-19.   

Addressing how fatal the pandemic is, Sethi informed that not all coronavirus infection is fatal, and the fatality depends on the age of the person and other comorbidities of the patient. (In medicine, comorbidity describes the effect of all other conditions an individual patient might have other than the primary condition of interest.) She added that the fatality rate in patients above 70 years of age is 8 per cent whereas, in the age group of 40 years, it’s 0.4 per cent and lower for younger patients. Along with that, she also emphasized on the importance of patients who are immune-compromised and infected with coronavirus should be monitored vigilantly for deterioration of symptoms. 

Moreover, at the time of writing this article, there have been several cases of patients who are reported to have cured of the coronavirus (the actual number is unclear). WHO (World Health Organization) states that though some western, traditional, or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of Covid-19, there is no evidence of the current medications that can prevent or cure the disease. Japan and Thailand have said to use HIV drugs lopinavir and ritonavir against the virus, however, this is not an approved treatment. Sethi informed that in Rajasthan also at SMS Medical College on a case the medications have been used, and it has shown improvement. Her recommendation is that these drugs should be tried on all patients provided they do not have any adverse effects on them. “The drug controller of India has recommended its restricted use in the disease,” Sethi informed.