The Coronavirus’ patient profile

two test tubes
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The Coronavirus–recently renamed COVID-19–epidemic maintains its grip on China. Based on the latest data released by the World Health Organization, the numbers continue to be alarming. However, Chinese officials changed the reporting criteria of Coronavirus cases this past week .

Therefore, patients who exhibit the symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness, but have not been tested or tested negative, are now included under the new category “clinical cases”.

Let’s take a look at the last two reports from WHO. These reports are issued daily. (Visit WHO.)

Situation Report 25 – Feb. 14th Situation Report 26 – Feb. 15th
Cases Globally Cases Globally
49 053 confirmed 50 580 (1.527 new)
Cases China Cases China
48 548 confirmed 50 054  (1506 new)
1381 deaths 1524 deaths (143 new)
Cases Outside of China Cases Outside of China
505 confirmed 526 (21 new)
24 countries 25 countries (1 new)
 2 deaths 2 deaths

For the last couple of weeks, I have wondered, what is the profile of the Coronavirus patient? Well, the Journal of the American Medical Association published the largest study made at the core of the epidemic providing valuable insight. (Read full article.)

The study, authored by Zhiyong Peng, MD, of the Department of Critical Care Medicine of the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, included 138 hospitalized patients with confirmed Novel Coronavirus Infected Pneumonia from January 1st to January 28th, 2020.

According to the results, the median age was 56 years with 54% being men. Thirty-six of the cases (26.1%) were transferred to the Intensive Care Unit due to the development of organ dysfunction. Forty-six.six percent (64 patients) had one or more co-existing medical conditions: hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and malignancy. They were also significantly older, (66 years median age.)

The most common symptoms were fever, fatigue, dry cough, myalgia (muscle pain), and dyspnea (labored breathing.) Less common symptoms were headache, dizziness, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

As of February 3, 2020, the study reported six deaths (4.3%), 85 patients (61.%) remain hospitalized, and 47 patients (34%) were discharged from the hospital after ten days of admission.

Nonetheless, there was one variable in the study that raises a red flag: the rapid person-to-person transmission rate of the COVID-19. Its basic reproductive number is estimated at 2.2, meaning that each infected person has already infected more than two people during the onset of the disease.

This explains the 41% of the 138 patients of the study who were infected inside the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, including people who were patients and employees.

Based on the latest information from the CDC, the United States has 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those, 13 had travel history to China, and 2 are possible confirmed transmission outside of China.

Like I said before, it is important to remain vigilant and up-to-date with the information from the leading world and national health agencies. Don’t let your guard down. Exercise common sense and follow the recommendations of my last blog. Click here to read it.

Thank you for reading and sharing,

Xiomara Spadafora


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication are the author’s and are not influenced by paid sponsors or advertisers. The author is not responsible for the comments generated in the open forum of Good Crazy Woman. All copy rights reserved.

Coronavirus: Stay informed, and don’t panic

chinese guardian lions
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Last night, I enjoyed a plate of Chinese food while I read a article about the spread of the coronavirus designated 2019-nCoV. An ironic coincidence I have to admit.

JAMA online (The Journal of the American Medical Association) published two articles last week to explain this epidemic. One refers to the cordon sanitaire–sanitary cord in English–the public health measure taken by the Chinese government on January 23rd.

This measure restricted all transportation–land, air, and waterways–to and from the city of Wuhan, where 11 million people live, as well as over 15 other cities in the province of Hubei.

Additionally, the large cities Beijing and Hong Kong have cancelled the majority of public events, as well as classes for schools and universities, until at least the middle of February.

To illustrate the state of affairs in this Asian giant, imagine the population of California, Oregon, and Washington State combined tied under the measure and Los Angeles County as the epicenter of the epidemic. Continue reading “Coronavirus: Stay informed, and don’t panic”

The Vanishing

Rio Magdalena
Photo: Cardcow.com

Last Friday, I met with the jurors of the creative writing contest at my son’s elementary school; I have sponsored this event for the past three years. In the fourth grade stories’ pile, there was one handwritten in blue ink. The title was “Carito“–short for Carolina in my home country, Colombia.

Immediately, I remembered the name of a famous song and thought: “I bet this is has something to do with Colombia.” I was right. Continue reading “The Vanishing”

Sing when you are up to your neck in mud

green leafy plant starting to grow on beige racks
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Two days ago, I watched a viral commencement address by Naval Admiral William H. McRaven at the University of Texas in 2014. The title of the speech is, “Change the World.” The voice and demeanor of the Admiral in uniform–besides the numerous medals on his chest–are an unmistakable display of leadership.

Nonetheless, what moved the audience that day, and continues to awe people worldwide on the internet, are his words and the essence of his message. This is my favorite part:

If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person, a Washington, a Lincoln, King, Mandela, and even a young girl from Pakistan, Malala. One person can change the world by giving people hope. So, if you want to change the world, start singing when you are up to your neck in mud.” (Click here to watch the full video) Continue reading “Sing when you are up to your neck in mud”

Not everybody gets a second chance

two person doing surgery inside room
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Last week, the details of the first double lung transplant to a 17 year-old due to vaping were revealed. The procedure took place on October 15th at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Although the identity of the patient is being kept anonymous, the hospital shared a written statement from the family.

First, they underscored that the effects of vaping are real. They described their son as a regular, young athlete, who went to school, socialized with friends, and played video games. But one day, he woke up breathing with a pair of lungs that were not his own. (See the hospital press release) Continue reading “Not everybody gets a second chance”

An Oath of Gratitude

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This post was originally published last December, but the story is timeless. I want to salute our troops and thank them for their service, today and always. X.S.


Sgt. Lippencott is a father of four. He joined the Marine Corps in 1996 in Chantilly, VA, and since then, he has completed seven tours of duty to Iraq and Afghanistan for the operations Iraq Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and New Dawn. He is planning his retirement for June next year after almost 23 years of service.

Needless to say, the wounds of his sacrifice to defend our country’s freedom are not only the ones he bares on his body, but also the ones on his soul.

After our first visit, I emailed Sgt. Lippencott and asked him a couple of questions to write this blog. The first one was, what would you say to a seven-year-old boy’s mother, like me, if my son decides to enlist in the military in the future? I asked him this because when we met, he said that he never thought about joining the military. His answer brought me to tears. Continue reading “An Oath of Gratitude”

Divide and conquer

Hilda Molina
Copyright BBC.com

Last Sunday, October 27th, Argentina elected Alberto Fernandez as its new president; he will take office on December 10th. Nonetheless, his triumph has not been the main focus of the media spotlight. Center stage is the return of the controversial and former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as his V.P.

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner became the first female president of Argentina in 2007 succeeding her husband, Nestor Kirchner; she was re-elected for a second term. Together, The Kirchners became the power couple of the Judicialist Party, amassing twelve years in office from 2003 to 2015.

The center left elected government will face the challenge to steer the third largest economy in Latin America with inflation over 50%, US$100 billion in foreign debt, and more than 30% of its population in poverty, according to Argentinian media outlets.

The results of this election have sent shock waves across the markets. Why? Perhaps it is the phantom of Fidel Castro’s ideology that haunts Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Continue reading “Divide and conquer”