A doctor based in Spain has self-quarantined in his home after he was diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus on Sunday. Dr. Yale Tung Chen contracted the virus while treating patients. He decided to document the course of his illness online to help relieve the public's fear and anxiety over the outbreak.
Covid-19 is a virus similar to the flu that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) among the elderly population and those with chronic illness, people with weak immune systems, or smokers.
Dr. Yale Tung Chen began documenting his illness in an online diary on day 1, telling his Twitter followers he had a sore throat and developed "a dry cough and a strong headache". He said he had a low-grade fever which "soon disappeared over the weekend."
He said, "It was reassuring to see [his lungs] were completely normal" on lung scans.
"The headache and the sore throat started to fade away on day two. On the lungs there appeared to be a little effusion [liquid] with signs of pneumonia on the back." The doctor stated he had developed mild pneumonia which he is treating at home by taking Motrin and Tylenol and doing push ups, adding: "I'm doing fine."
Those with weak immune systems will need to be seen in hospital if they develop pneumonia.
Dr. Yale Tung Chen said: "Today the cough went heavily up, and has now calmed. Diarrhea started." Referring to his ultrasound of his lungs, he said it "remained similar" to the previous chest scans. "I'm feeling well, and there is no data to say the opposite."
Dr. Yale Tung Chen told LBC News he was feeling "awfully tired" by Thursday - four days after his diagnosis. He said his latest ultrasound shows pneumonia in the middle lobe of his right lung. "More cough & tiredness (very badly), still no [pain on inhaling]/chest pain." More fluid buildup in left lung.
He said he was "overwhelmed" by the public response to his health diary.
For most healthy people under age 60, the novel coronavirus causes only mild symptoms such as cough, headache, sore throat and low-grade fever.
The virus can cause serious illness among the elderly population, particularly those with existing health problems such as heart and respiratory problems or diabetes.
So far, the majority of the 38 deaths in the US are elderly and chronically ill. The average age is 80.