Just days after receiving oxygen and experimental therapies for coronavirus treatment at a military hospital near Washington, US President Donald Trump gives lengthy television interviews, tweets non-stop, gives an act in front of a crowd in the Casa Blanca and plans to return to his campaign trips for the November 3 elections.
Are you risking your recovery by doing too much too soon? And most concerning to many, could it still infect others?
According to Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease physician and academic at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the speed of recovery from Covid-19 varies greatly between patients.
In general, “for someone in their 70s who was hospitalized with covid, I would say it takes a couple of weeks to get back to baseline,” he said. Trump is 74 years old.
“But because he is the president, he has many people who help him with his activities of daily life,” he clarified.
Trump has been hospitalized for three nights since October 2 and has been treated by the White House medical unit since October 5.
After his brief speech Saturday to about 2,000 people from a White House balcony, Trump plans to go to Florida on Monday and then plans to speak to his supporters Tuesday in Pennsylvania and Wednesday in Iowa.
Dr. Mangala Narasimhan, senior vice president of intensive care at Northwell Health, New York, said that patients Trump’s age who had needed oxygen for Covid-19 pneumonia often continue to experience “severe fatigue and muscle aches and pains.” for some time afterwards.
Doubts about its real state
Both physicians emphasized that it is very difficult to know precisely where Trump is in his recovery, since his medical team and those close to him have given opaque and sometimes contradictory updates on his state of health.
Excessive exertion after illness runs the risk of wear down the immune system.
“That is why it is always said that one should rest and drink fluids, because the immune system needs to be at its optimum level,” Narasimhan explained.
The expert added that this is particularly crucial for older patients, more likely to undergo a second phase of viral replication, in which symptoms such as fever and chills reappear.
Trump’s medical history and underlying conditions are not fully known, but he is known to have a heart disease slight that could be aggravated, said Adalja.
Narasimhan emphasized that Trump’s medical team has not released key lab values, such as “inflammatory markers” that would indicate how you have been recovering from the inflammatory phase of the disease, and certain blood values that would reveal the probability that you will develop clots.
“People tend to form clots, and depending on blood levels, you want to make sure that 30 days later you’re taking clot-preventing drugs,” he explained.
“There are all sorts of other symptoms and side effects that happen from this virus that we are just beginning to understand,” he added.
A small fraction of Covid-19 sufferers become prolonged ill, with a poorly understood post-viral phase of the illness that can involve fatigue and shortness of breath for weeks, months, even longer.
Precautions after discharge
The White House doctor, Sean Conley, anticipated the president’s “safe return to public commitments” for Saturday, October 10, 10 days after his diagnosis.
Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the federal health agency in the United States, say that, for people who had mild or moderate COVID-19, isolation and precautions can be suspended 10 days after the onset of symptoms and after they have been fever-free for 24 hours.
Trump was diagnosed with coronavirus on the night of Thursday, October 1, and it was interned on Friday 2. Last Monday he returned to the White House and, in messages through the networks social, he declared himself “cured.”
For the most severe cases, CDC guidelines say precautions should be maintained for up to 20 days after symptoms appear. But in Trump’s case, “we don’t know if he’s had a moderate or severe illness,” Narasimhan said.
The government’s top scientist, Anthony Fauci, said he was confident the president’s medical team would not let him out while he was still infected.
“I can assure you that they will be testing him before letting him out,” he told CBS News.