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April 22nd, 2020

How COVID-19 Gets A Silent Start On You

There has been talk for a while now about asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. This New York Times article came across my Facebook stream the other day and it contains within it an understanding of how that might be…

The Infection That’s Silently Killing Coronavirus Patients

Even patients without respiratory complaints had Covid pneumonia. The patient stabbed in the shoulder, whom we X-rayed because we worried he had a collapsed lung, actually had Covid pneumonia. In patients on whom we did CT scans because they were injured in falls, we coincidentally found Covid pneumonia. Elderly patients who had passed out for unknown reasons and a number of diabetic patients were found to have it.

And here is what really surprised us: These patients did not report any sensation of breathing problems, even though their chest X-rays showed diffuse pneumonia and their oxygen was below normal. How could this be?

Read this article if you read nothing else today about the virus! Apparently due to the way the virus invades the lungs you don’t notice any discomfort for a while, as you would in the usual course of a pneumonia infection. But doctors can see it when they measure the amount of oxygen in your blood. That’s the tell that something is wrong with your lung functioning.

There are simple inexpensive devices you can buy at the pharmacy or online to measure blood O2. I bought one of these after I had the heart attack last October, along with a home device for measuring blood pressure. There are also, so I’m told, clever smartphone apps that use the built-in light. Normal O2 should be between 95 and 100 percent as taken from one of these.

Stay safe people…

 

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