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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Coma: Am I At Risk?

Medically reviewed by Susan Kerrigan, MD and Marianne Madsen

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has turned into a serious global pandemic, more and more people have been panicking. Most already know that the virus is mainly a big concern for the elderly and immunocompromised, but as the infection rates keep climbing, people keep asking questions. Although it’s true that healthy people aren’t very much at risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19, some individuals are suffering life-threatening side effects from the virus.


One Connecticut man in his 40s, a father of two, tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from a California work conference on February 28, 2020. At first, he felt tired. Then he developed pneumonia. Now he’s in a medically induced coma.


His wife spoke with Hearst Connecticut Media in an interview. She has requested that their family name be withheld from the media, but she was able to elaborate on her husband’s condition. 


“I know some people are saying this is hysteria, but I think it’s really important for people to take this seriously,” she told Hearst Media. “My husband got really sick, really fast.”


The man is currently at Danbury Hospital on oxygen therapy. He has started breathing on his own, and his condition is guarded, but it looks like he will recover. It’s important to note, however, that the man did have underlying medical conditions–a heart problem and predisposition for pneumonia.

There’s no reason to panic. If you’re a young, healthy individual, the chances are slim that you’ll suffer any serious complications from COVID-19. About 80% of cases are “mild or asymptomatic,” 15% are severe, and 5% are critical, requiring ventilation, according to the World Health Organization. The total mortality rate (somewhat disputed) is around 3 to 4 percent. If you follow the necessary precautions, you decrease your chances of contracting the virus and spreading it to others, who may be at higher risk.

Measures of Prevention


  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, covering all surfaces of your hands (backs, too), for about 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer if soap isn’t available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Discard the tissue afterwards, and wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • If you feel sick, even if you think it’s not COVID-19, stay at home.
  • Clean surfaces and objects that have been touched by other people.
  • Stay away from others. You don’t have to stay completely inside; you can sit outside or take a walk if the weather is nice. Just avoid other people or stay at least 6 feet away from them. 
  • Quarantine yourself. This is not necessary for the majority of people, but if you fall into an at-risk category, you may want to completely quarantine yourself.



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