COVID-19 'doesn't care if you're the president,' KC doctor says

Trump experiencing 'mild' symptoms of COVID-19
Posted at 5:45 PM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 19:36:33-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Doctors in Kansas City are reminding the community to keep taking COVID-19 seriously following the news that President Trump and the First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the virus.

The president was taken to Walter Reed Hospital for treatment on Friday afternoon.

"[COVID-19] doesn't care about state lines. It doesn't care about how much money you make. It doesn't care if you're the president," Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer at the University of Kansas Health System, said at the hospital's daily COVID-19 update.

Doctors at the University of Kansas Health System say it's common to test negative late one day, then test positive the next morning, which may have happened with the president and his aide, Hope Hicks, who also tested positive.

There is concern that the president was symptomatic at the debate with former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday night.

Biden and his wife announced they tested negative on Friday.

"That's the reason we say you can't test out of quarantine," said David Wild, M.D., who is vice president of performance improvement at KU. "A negative test on day seven means nothing on day eight if you start having symptoms."

On average, people develop symptoms about four to five days after they are exposed to the virus, but it can even be up to 12 days.

"In the very early stages the test may be negative, but the greatest proportion of virus people shed is on the day they develop symptoms," said Dr. Joel McKinsey, infectious disease physician at Research Medical Center.

People shed a virus when they are the most contagious.

President Trump is being treated with Regeneron antibodies.

Other treatments can include Dexamethasone, which is a steroid; Remdesivir, which is an intravenous antiviral medication; and convalescent plasma, which comes from people who have had the virus and recovered from it.

McKinsey said reports show early signs that convalesent plasma is helpful.

"We usually don't use those treatments unless those people are severely ill," McKinsey said. "There's a study to look at the use of Remdisivir in outpatients, but for the moment we only use it in hospitalized patients."

McKinsey reminds the community that people older than 50, and especially older than 60, have a higher chance of having more severe symptoms, along with people who are overweight and have health issues.

"Coronavirus is prevalent in this community, so anything we can do to minimize the risk of transition from person to person is worth doing," McKinsey said.