While Coronavirus Covid-19 is of great concern to all, information about the virus is often confusing. We think this following information from Dr Rachel Tennant who works on the front line may bring some clarity:
Dr. Rachel Tenant.
Consultant in acute and respiratory medicine at Northwick Park hospital in north London has passed on this message.
Just want to say – I’ve seen quite a few people with Covid 19 since Sunday. The vast majority are fine. They seem to have one week of fever, a few days of dry cough and then sometimes breathlessness on day 8 or 9. Most people are fine to stay at home and recover in about 10 days. If it is going to be bad it is around day 9 or 10 and the breathlessness gets rapidly worse at that point. We have had five patients who needed ITU but they all have heart or lung disease, and are quite elderly. Thankfully children seem to be invincible.
I’ve never known anything like this – but we’re planning for huge numbers of people needing
intensive care and working out how to cope. We’ve managed to segregate our whole hospital into unknown (in single rooms), positive and negative areas. We’ve moved a whole intensive care unit and 4 other wards in 3 days flat – this sort of change usually takes at least 6 months to get agreed!
I think we need to worry about our elderly relatives but not our age group or our kids. It seems pretty clear that a large proportion of the UK will get this, hopefully spread out over months rather than all at once like Italy. Once enough people have had it
Then herd immunity will mean it dies out. So if the frail elderly can hibernate for a few months hopefully we can keep mortality down.
Anyway, if you have any Covid-19 questions, I know an awful lot more about it now than I did 2 weeks ago, so feel free to ask!
Dr Rachel Tennant
Consultant in Respiratory & Acute Medicine
Clinical Director for Acute Medicine.