A leading scientist has warned the British to respect the lockout, because “COVID-19 is as dangerous as Ebola” – as a study found that most of the elderly killed by the disease would not have died otherwise.
Professor Calum Semple, who directs the largest study of coronavirus patients in the UK said more than a third of those admitted to the hospital had died.
“It’s the same with people hospitalized for Ebola,” he said in a virtual press conference.
“People need to hear this and get in their heads. The reason the government wants people to stay at home until the epidemic subsides is because it is an incredibly dangerous disease.
“We still see isolated selfish examples of selfishness where people think it is okay to be in the park and share a pack of four beers.
“There is a particular group of young people who are adopting an attitude” I’m fine Jack, I don’t mind. ” They do not understand that they are just as likely to catch it and transmit it, and that will affect the rest of society. “
Professor Semple heads the Coronavirus Clinical Characterization Consortium, which has published detailed clinical information on almost 17,000 patients admitted to hospitals in the United Kingdom.
The study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, found:
- Mortality rates were high in elderly patients, and most of those who did not survive were admitted to hospital with symptoms of COVID-19 and “would not have died otherwise”
- Of the 6,628 patients who required a hospital stay of 14 days or more, the study shows that half (49%) have been discharged and 17% are still on treatment. 33% died.
- Pregnant women are not at increased risk of death
- Obesity is associated with mortality, even after adjustment for other health conditions
Although the study supports the findings of previous research on COVID-19, the results on deaths of the elderly seem to contradict a widely held belief that a large proportion of these elderly victims would die imminently anyway.
It also confirms that serious illness is more common in older age groups and men.
But Professor Semple said obese people, who had a BMI over 30, were also at higher risk of being admitted to intensive care and dying.
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“Fat cells secrete chemicals that increase the inflammatory state in the body,” he said.
“If you are an older person, you are also more likely to have had a difficult childhood and life, raised in an environment where you are exposed to multiple deprivations.
“Together they make the race very difficult for these people when they catch COVID-19[female[feminine. “
Researchers hope to identify risk factors that could signal poor results to patients.
Professor Peter Openshaw, an expert in experimental medicine at Imperial College London and a member of the consortium, said that the study provided “sobering numbers” and that the virus “had a lot of strange twists and turns”.
“It is not just a cough virus,” he said.
“There are anecdotal reports of people starting with a cough and shortness of breath, then seeming to get better, then coming back with a more systemic (whole body) disease, inflammation of the blood vessels and a tendency to form blood clots in different parts from the body.
“So this is a much more complex disease than we originally thought. It is remarkable to see a new disease unfolding before our eyes. “
According to the study, published on the medRxiv site, 83% of patients were treated in hospital departments without being admitted to intensive care. However, 31% of them are still dead.
Dr Annemarie Docherty, another researcher and honorary consultant in intensive care at the University of Edinburgh, said that it was wrong to assume that the sickest patients will automatically be admitted to intensive care, as this cannot be -be not in their interest.
“If you are ventilated, you cannot communicate with your family, the rates of delirium are considerably higher and if there is little or no aspiration to recover, we do not serve these patients by bringing them to the ICU, “she said.