NEW ORLEANS — “I can officially say we have reached our peak.”
This is how Dr. Rachel, the Teaching Doctor, begins WGNO’s special report Coronavirus: the Latest Your Questions Answered.
But, reaching the peak is not the end. She says we still need to come down safely.
“We are not out of the woods at all because we are still getting a lot of positive tests,” warns Dr. Rachel. “But, hospitalizations are down.”
Patients requiring ventilators is trending down as well.
“We are also realizing more that we don’t want to put a person on the ‘vent’ [ventilator] unless abolutely necessary,” says Dr. Rachel. “We are doing other things.”
Most COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms recover at home practicing self-isolation. For more serious cases, patients need to go to the hospital for oxygen. But, that doesn’t mean they go on a ventilator.
“About 15% of people with coronavirus are admitted to the hospital because they will need supplemental oxygen,” says Dr. Rachel. “About 5% of people will need to be placed on ventilator for support.”
Dr. Rachel says patients who require hospitalization are in for a tougher recovery.
“You are likely to experience prolonged fatigue, cough, and even shortness of breath for several weeks after leaving the hospital,” she says. “You may feel short of breath just getting up to take a shower every day.”
In the special report, WGNO anchor Susan Roesgen speaks with a COVID-19 patient who documented her recovery in the hospital with video, including her emotional reunion with her child.
You can view the WGNO special report Coronavirus: the Latest – Your Questions Answered on WGNO.com, where you can also stay up-to-date with our Coronavirus: the Latest reports. And, if you have a question for Dr. Rachel, send it to DrRachel@wgno.com.