Most people will get a mild infection, but the pattern is clear in the most severe cases. A World Health Organization examination of data from 56,000 patients suggests:
6% become critically ill – lung failure, septic shock, organ failure and risk of death
14% develop severe symptoms – difficulty breathing and shortness of breath
80% develop mild symptoms – fever and cough and some may have pneumonia
This information is from a massive study by the Chinese Centres of Disease Control
- The incubation period – between infection and showing symptoms – lasts up to 14 days. People will be most infectious when they have symptoms, but there have been suggestions some can spread the virus even before they are sick
- It looked at 44,000 people and showed 2.8% of infected men died, compared with 1.7% of women. And 0.2% of children and teenagers died compared with nearly 15% of people over the age of 80. The quality of the antibodies you produce when you’re 70 is a lot worse than when you’re 20. The proportion dying from the disease appears low (between 1% and 2%)
- “Smoking damages your lungs. This may be a particular problem in China, where estimates suggest 52% of men smoke compared with just 3% of women.
- There is very limited information on the symptoms of Covid-19 in children, but they appear to be mild – fever, runny nose and a cough.
- There have been some cases with more severe complications. Those with other health problems, such as a weakened immune system or severe asthma, will be at greater risk
- The number of new cases reported has fallen dramatically in recent days even as infections are surging in other countries. The World Health Organization has praised Beijing’s response.
- Officials reported only 99 new cases on Saturday, down from around 2,000 a day just weeks ago, and for the second day in a row, none were detected in Hubei Province outside of its capital, Wuhan, the centre of the outbreak.
People who think they may be affected by coronavirus need to call the NHS 111 phone service for further advice. They should not go to their GP, or A&E.
- The best thing is regular and thorough hand washing, preferably with soap and water.
- Coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs small droplets – packed with the virus – into the air. These can be breathed in, or cause an infection if you touch a surface they have landed on then your eyes, nose or mouth.
- So, coughing and sneezing into tissues, not touching your face with unwashed hands, and avoiding close contact with infected people are important for limiting the spread.
- Face masks do not provide effective protection,