Derek Draper, 53, was hospitalised with coronavirus in March last year, the same month the UK went into national lockdown, and was admitted to an intensive care unit. In June he remained in a critical condition and was placed into an induced coma. A year on, he remains in intensive care, and according to wife Kate Garraway he experiences only “fleeing glimmers of consciousness”.
Garraway has been unable to visit him since December, when the third lockdown was imposed, but noted his condition deteriorated dramatically without human contact.
She said: “I feel like he is in an ocean of unconsciousness and sometimes he comes up to the surface. In the run-up to Christmas there were moments of consciousness where I felt like we were really communicating,”
Adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from Covid, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It defines severe illness from COVID-19 as hospitalisation, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation, or death.
It says adults of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Down Syndrome
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
- Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
- Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
So if you’re at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, what can you do to reduce your risk of getting the virus.
The best way to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, says the CDC, is to:
Limit your interactions with other people as much as possible.
Take precautions to prevent getting COVID-19 when you do interact with others.
Precautions include getting vaccinated – you should get a COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available to you, and wearing a mask in public.
The AstraZeneca Covid vaccine has come under scrutiny the last few weeks after reports of blood clots.
Several countries, particularly in Europe, temporarily suspended use of the vaccine as a result.
But new data has now revealed the vaccine is 100 percent effective against severe or critical disease and hospitalisation.
AstraZeneca said an independent safety committee conducted a specific review of the blood clots in the U.S. trial, as well as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), which is an extremely rare blood clot in the brain, with the help of an independent neurologist.
It showed that the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine was 79 percent effective at preventing symptomatic illness, and was 100 percent effective against severe or critical disease and hospitalisation.