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Trump Has the Coronavirus. What Risks Does He Face?

President Trump’s announcement on Friday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus has raised many questions about what the infection could mean for the health of America’s top leader.


In a statement, the president’s physician said Mr. Trump, who is 74, was “well” but did not say whether he was experiencing symptoms. He said the president would stay isolated in the White House for now.

总统的医生在一份声明中说,特朗普的身体“很好”,但未说现年74岁的总统是否表现出症状。医生说,总统到目前为止仍在白宫进行隔离。(根据最新消息,特朗普出现了发烧、咳嗽等轻微症状,并已经前往沃尔特·里德国家军事医学中心[Walter Reed National Military Medical Center]接受检查——编注。)

Here is what we know about how the virus could affect people with his general profile.


Older men are at greater risk of becoming seriously sick.


Older men are up to twice as likely to die from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, as women of the same age are, according to an analysis by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Another study, published in Nature in August, found that this was because men produce a weaker immune response than do women.


The potential for needing hospitalization rises after the age of 50, said Raina MacIntyre, who heads the biosecurity program at the Kirby Institute of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

澳大利亚悉尼新南威尔士大学柯比研究所的生物安全项目负责人雷娜·麦金泰尔(Raina MacIntyre)说,50岁以上的人需要住院治疗的可能性增高。

Obesity poses another risk factor for dying — particularly among men, according to an analysis of thousands of patients treated at a Southern California health system.


“If you don’t know anything about Donald Trump, just knowing that he’s a male, over 70, and appears to be overweight, right away, you can say he’s in the high-risk group,” said Michael Baker, a professor with the department of global health at the University of Otago in Wellington who is an adviser to the New Zealand government.

“如果你对唐纳德·特朗普一无所知,只知道他是男性,年龄在70岁以上,而且似乎体重过高,你可以说他属于高危人群,”惠灵顿奥塔哥大学(University of Otago)全球健康系的迈克尔·贝克(Michael Baker)说,他是新西兰政府的顾问。

Still, many people his age have recovered from Covid-19.


Even though the risk of severe illness from Covid-19 increases with age, most people who contract it get well quickly with minimal symptoms.


“The good news is that even people who have a number of risk factors, on average, do well,” Professor Baker said. “Only a minority have illness and severe consequences.”


“A lot of people his age who get Covid are actually fine,” said Benjamin Cowling, head of the division of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Hong Kong.

“许多他这种年纪的人得了新冠病毒疾病后,实际上问题不大,”香港大学流行病学和生物统计学系主任高本恩(Benjamin Cowling)说。

The outcome could be complicated if Mr. Trump has certain underlying health conditions, which researchers widely agree pose a risk of serious illness.


Mr. Trump, White House officials and his doctor have maintained in recent months that the president was in good health. But Mr. Trump loves cheeseburgers and does not exercise much, aside from playing golf. In June, Mr. Trump’s doctor said the president weighed 244 pounds, which makes him slightly obese.


“If he doesn’t have diabetes, high blood pressure or any long-term illness, then the outcome probably won’t be severe,” said David Hui, the director of the Stanley Ho Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


It’s hard to say how long it would take for Mr. Trump to recover.


Experts agree that the next week will be critical in determining the course of Mr. Trump’s illness.


If Mr. Trump does not develop symptoms, antibodies will appear 10 days after the onset of illness and he will recover, according to Dr. Hui at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said that “the good news about Covid-19” is that about 40 percent of those who get infected never develop symptoms.

美国国家过敏和传染病研究所(National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)所长安东尼·福奇(Anthony Fauci)博士说,“有关新冠病毒疾病的好消息”是,大约40%的感染者从未表现出症状。

Current estimates suggest that symptoms, if they appear, could do so as soon as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.


If Mr. Trump develops mild symptoms such as a cough, fever or shortness of breath, it could take him a week to recover. A severe illness, which could mean developing lung lesions and pneumonia, could require hospitalization, possible ventilation and months of treatment.


“You couldn’t put a specific time on it,” said Dominic Dwyer, a medical virologist at the University of Sydney. “Irrespective of what one thinks about politics, you wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”

“无法给出具体的时间,”悉尼大学(University of Sydney)疾病病毒学家多米尼克·德怀尔(Dominic Dwyer)说。“不管一个人持怎样的政治观点,都不会希望这种事发生在任何人身上。”

Treatment will depend on the severity of his illness.


Experts agree that Mr. Trump’s treatment regimen will depend on whether he develops symptoms in the coming days.


As long as he has no symptoms, or limited symptoms, maintaining a comfortable environment in which he can be isolated for 14 days and be regularly assessed by doctors would suffice.


There is, of course, no cure yet for Covid-19. But if Mr. Trump develops pneumonia and respiratory failure and other signs of a more serious condition, a number of treatments that have been used widely by doctors and nurses would be available to him.


Remdesivir, an antiviral drug designed to treat both hepatitis and a common respiratory virus, has shown to be useful for treating severely ill patients. A steroid called dexamethasone has also reduced mortality in such patients, according to scientists at the University of Oxford.


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