In Brief

How at risk is Donald Trump of a serious case of Covid-19?

US president and first lady Melania test positive after travelling to first election debate

Donald Trump has confirmed that he has entered quarantine with his wife, Melania, after testing positive for coronavirus. 

One of his closest aides, 31-year-old adviser Hope Hicks, has also tested positive for the virus after travelling on Air Force One with Trump to the first presidential debate.

Trump, who has “mostly spurned mask-wearing and has often been pictured not socially distanced with aides or others during official engagements”, is 74-years-old and so is in a high risk group, the BBC says.

Hospitalisation rates for those between 65 and 74-years-old are 198.7 per 100,000, rising to 329.3 per 100,000 in the 75 to 84 age group, The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.

“Eight out of ten Covid-19-related deaths reported in the United States have been among adults aged 65 years and older”, the CDC says. The chances of hospitalisation at Trump’s age is five times higher than in 18 to 29-year-olds, while the likelihood of death is 90 times higher, the agency adds.

Trump’s doctor, Dr Sean Conley, released a statement, saying the president and the first lady were “both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence”.

“Rest assured I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments,” Conley’s statement added.

Trump’s most recent medical examination recorded his weight as 244lb (110.7kg), making him obese for a person of his height of 1.9m (6.3ft). Obesity increases the chance of hospitalisation threefold, the CDC says. 

And a study by Columbia University in July found that people with coronavirus who are obese were 60% more likely to require mechanical ventilation or die.

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