US President Donald Trump, who said late on Thursday that he and his wife Melania had tested positive for Covid-19, is believed to be at a greater risk to the dangers of the disease owing to his age and because he is considered to be overweight. Experts have maintained that the novel coronavirus is particularly dangerous to those who are in their 70s or older and those with existing co-morbidities.
“We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!" the president said in a late-night tweet.
According to information available at the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the world’s leading public health agencies, as one gets older, the risk for severe illness from Covid-19 increases.
“For example, people in their 50s are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 40s. Similarly, people in their 60s or 70s are, in general, at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s. The greatest risk for severe illness from Covid-19 is among those aged 85 or older," the CDC’s guideline on the novel coronavirus says.
Trump is 74 years old, putting him at higher risk of serious complications from a virus. The US president has been in good health during his time in office but is not known to exercise regularly.
Doctors, studying why obesity may be tied to serious Covid-19 said multiple factors likely make it harder for people who are obese to fight a coronavirus infection, which can damage the lungs. Carrying around a lot of extra weight strains the body, and that excess fat could limit the lungs’ ability to expand and breathe.
“How fat is distributed in the body may play a role too. One study found an increased risk for death from Covid-19 for people with severe obesity, but only among men. The findings could reflect that men tend to carry fat around the stomach, Sara Tartof, a co-author of the study told Associated Press last month.
Besides this, the president is rarely seen wearing a mask and has derided others for doing so, including Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Medical professionals have advised that wearing masks is crucial to check the spread of the virus.
Trump, who is tested regularly for Covid-19 has held massive rallies with scores of people in recent weeks in the run-up to the presidential elections, amid warnings from public health professionals.
On Thursday president forecasted that the end of the pandemic was near. Soon after his statement, news of Hope Hicks, a trusted aide, testing positive for the virus, surfaced. Notably, Hicks had travelled with Trump on Air Force One on Tuesday and Wednesday, Reuters reported.