I remember only 2 months ago looking at Covid-19 in China and thinking that the new strain of coronavirus will be faster gone than it came. My assumptions were based on the SARS and MERS epidemic. After all its not the first coronavirus in history.
That made what happened next even more surreal. Out of the blue our boarder in Slovakia was closed, all public gatherings canceled and people who didn’t report to a detention centre after they returned from abroad became punishable by law.
The challenge with Covid-19 is that there are still a lot of unknowns. Fortunately every day we are getting more information.
Here are a few things that we do know:
1. Individuals at highest risk for severe disease and death include people aged over 60 years and those with underlying conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory disease and cancer (NCDs). Disease in children appears to be relatively rare and mild with approximately 2.4% of the total reported cases reported amongst individuals aged under 19 years. A very small proportion of those aged under 19 years have developed severe (2.5%) or critical disease (0.2%).
2. Most people infected with COVID-19 virus have mild disease and recover. Approximately 80% of laboratory confirmed (PCR) patients have had mild to moderate disease, which includes non-pneumonia and pneumonia cases, 13.8% have severe disease (dyspnea, respiratory frequency ≥30/minute, blood oxygen saturation ≤93%, PaO2/FiO2 ratio < 300, and/or lung infiltrates >50% of the lung field within 24–48 hours) and 6.1% are critical (respiratory failure, septic shock, and/or multiple organ dysfunction/failure).
3. A key dangerous factor” that leads to distress and death in patients with the coronavirus. In January, for example, nearly half of the fatalities in one group of Covid-19 sufferers occurred in individuals with high blood pressure according to Bloomberg group.
The virus is putting a lot of pressure onto healthcare systems while people are flocking into hospitals with symptoms ranging from mild sneezing to elevated temperatures. Many of these can be monitored from home thus reducing the risk of infecting medical personal and other fellow citizens.
Remote monitoring of temperature, blood saturation and blood pressure are key for monitoring Covid-19.
What role do you think remote monitoring will play in managing Covid-19 in the long term?
Slavomir Hruska, COO and Co-founder of S-Case point-of-care diagnostics