Patients can lead normal life after recovery from nCoV: Medical experts

novel coronavirus, china, wuhan, coronavirus in uae

Dubai - Doctors have assured worried residents that people can 'go on with their lives after recovery'.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Mon 10 Feb 2020, 5:56 PM

Last updated: Mon 10 Feb 2020, 8:08 PM

Patients can go on to lead regular, healthy lives following their recovery from the Novel Coronavirus, said doctors in the UAE.

The virus which originated in Wuhan, China, had infected a total of seven patients in the UAE, including six Chinese nationals and one Filipino. However, following the discharge of the 73-year-old Chinese woman, one of the first to be infected by the disease in the UAE, doctors have assured worried residents that people can 'go on with their lives after recovery', banishing fears that the disease would stay with them forever.
Also read: First patient in UAE recovers from nCoV

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) Assistant Under-Secretary for Health Centres and Clinics Dr Hussein Al Rand said: "The results of the 2019-nCoV detection test conducted on Liu Yujia, 73, turned out negative of the new coronavirus. She is now in good health and fully recovered."

Chinese Consul-General in Dubai Li Xuhang said that the "UAE leadership, government and people have demonstrated the true meaning of solidarity with the People's Republic of China in confronting this latest outbreak".

He expressed his relief and joy following the announcement of Yujia's recovery, lauding the UAE's advanced healthcare systems and "the strong coordination between China and UAE".

'Recovery from nCOV like any other viral disease'

Dr Saheer Sainalabdeen, specialist pulmonologist and respiratory medicine, Medeor Hospital Dubai, said nCOV is like any other viral disease and needs to take its course in the patient's body. "Recovery of the patient depends on their immunity and general condition. Once the body develops the antibodies to fight it, the infection takes its natural course," he said.

He added: "Once the virus exits the body, just like for every viral infection, the patient is prone to fatigue, tiredness, infection, etc. The patient needs to take adequate rest, avoid crowded places, consume fresh fruits and vegetables and maintain general handwashing protocols."

Dr Ihab Ramadan, specialist internal medicine at Medcare Hospital Al Safa, said: "Given the disease has a three per cent fatality rate, it is evident that patients with lower immunity are more vulnerable to the disease. But the remaining 97 per cent of the patients will go back to normal life in 7-10 days."

How is nCov treated?

Dr Sainalabdeen said the treatment of the patient depends entirely on the patient's immunity. "Once the patient is diagnosed, depending on the severity, the treatment is decided. Most healthy patients show severe flu-like symptoms - bronchitis, cough, breathing discomfort. Here, the patients are given medications for symptoms such as fever or body aches."

He added: "However, when it becomes severe, the infection goes to the lungs," he explained.

"Following this, if the patient has severe respiratory infection, the first treatment is to provide the patient with non-invasive ventilation. However, if the infection is severe and the patient can still not maintain oxygenation, he or she is placed on a ventilator," he added.

Can you get the virus again?

Commenting on whether patients can contract the virus again, all doctors told Khaleej Times that it is 'not usually probable with viruses'. However, since nCOV is a new one, research is still ongoing.

Dr Yanal Salam, specialist internal medicine, Emirates Hospital Jumeirah, said: "Generally, till now there is no treatment for the nCOV. Testing for vaccinations is ongoing, but it might take a few months. The World Health Organisation is trying to fast-track vaccination or possible medication."

"However, for now, patients are given supportive medicines such as IV fluids, painkillers and others," said Dr Salam.

Dr Sainalabdeen said: "Patients must, however, maintain precautions like staying out of crowded places and practise frequent handwashing protocols."

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