These days, coronavirus is the term that causes panic, shock, fear, and anxiety the second we hear it.
Yet, as the focus is on its fast speed of spreading globally and constantly rising numbers of newly infected patients, the fact that more than 75,000 coronavirus patients have recovered remains ignored.
Coronavirus can cause varying degrees of illness, but it is the most troublesome in the elderly and those already at risk of serious effects, including pneumonia.
In most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms only, such as cough and fever, with the vast majority recovering from it.
According to the World Health Organization, people with mild symptoms can recover in about two weeks, while more severe cases may need three to six weeks.
Dr. Helen Wimalarathna, Lecturer in Health Sciences at the Open University, explained that the virus is less likely to cause more fatalities than SARS and MERS, even though it has infected more people:
“The evidence so far suggests that COVID-19 is spread more easily than either SARS or MERS, but that the consequences of infection are less serious – so for most fit and healthy individuals, a COVID-19 infection is likely to be something like a heavy cold.
For a small proportion of infected individuals, somewhere between one percent and three percent of those with a confirmed case of the disease, the disease can be fatal.
To put this into context, the case fatality of SARS and MERS were roughly 11 percent and 43 percent, respectively; while the case fatality of measles is around 15 percent.”
In mainland China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, over 80,000 people were tested positive for the virus, but more than 54,000 have already recovered.
As the difference in symptoms can be so great, global health authorities try to avoid panic but still alert the public to the dangers of the virus. The Associated Press maintains that even the most vulnerable patients can fight the virus.
This was the case with 89-year-old Eugene Campbell, who has been diagnosed with coronavirus and hospitalized in Edmonds, Washington, but is already recovering.
His son, Charlie, explained that his father looks good, his vital signs and heart rate are good, and he breaths normally, adding that he “may be the oldest person to recover from coronavirus.”
His doctor is cautiously optimistic, explaining that if these were normal circumstances, he would discharge Eugene.
He was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 6, so he recovered from it quite quickly. The patient came to the hospital from Life Care Center, a nursing home in Kirkland, associated with many of the state’s coronavirus deaths.
As shown by the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering live tracker, as of March 15, of the 162,687 patients tested positive for the virus around the world, 6065 have died, while 75,620, or 46,4 percent, recovered.
Dr. David Hicks, Deputy Health Officer at the Jefferson County Health Department said:
“We want people to remember the vast majority of individuals have a mild illness, mild symptoms so kind of like the common cold, maybe a mild flu and so most of those individuals will recover on their own with just lots of fluids. You can take fever reducers.”
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated:
“We need to remember that with decisive, early action, we can slow down the virus and prevent infections. Among those who are infected, most will recover.”