President Trump’s positive coronavirus test has raised questions about what the infection could mean for the health of the leader of the United States.
In a statement, the White House physician, Dr. Sean P. Conley, said Mr. Trump was “well” but did not say whether he was experiencing symptoms. He said the president, 74, would stay isolated in the White House for now.
Here is what we know about how the virus could affect people fitting Mr. Trump’s 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, 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.
Many people Mr. Trump’s age have recovered.
Even though the risk of severe illness from Covid-19 increases with age, most people who contract it get well quickly with minimal symptoms.
But it’s hard to say how long a recovery could take.
Experts agree that the next week would be critical in determining the course of Mr. Trump’s illness.
If Mr. Trump does not develop symptoms, antibodies would appear 10 days after the onset of illness and he would recover, according to Dr. Hui at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Current estimates suggest that symptoms, if they appear, could do so in as quickly as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.
If he 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.