More U.S. coronavirus patients are recovering

Health officials have documented 15 known cases of patients successfully recuperating from the virus in the last few weeks.

Rick Docksai | Mar 29, 2020

While the death toll from Coronavirus reportedly reached double digits this week, researchers are pointing with hope to another number that has outpaced it: recoveries. Health officials have documented 15 known cases of patients successfully recuperating from the virus in the last few weeks.

The cases include one patient in Wisconsin, six in California, four in Nebraska, two in Illinois, one in Arizona, and one in Washington state. By comparison, 14 U.S. patients were reported to have died from the virus.

The Wisconsin patient had to recuperate at home for several weeks, according to the patient's doctor, Nasia Safdar. Safdar told NBC News that the majority of patients will just need some down time to get over the infection.

"For most people, this will be the course. It will be like a cold," Safdar said.

The death toll has climbed to 3,3387worldwide, out of nearly 97,000 cases. But more than 53,638 have already recovered, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering

Dr. Vincent Bonagura, an infectious-disease expert at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Norwell Health in New York, cautioned that patients with chronic health problems, such as diabetes or heart disease, are more at risk of not surviving the infection. These patients tend to "do poorly when then get pneumonia or an infection of the lung," he said.

People who smoke or who have chronic lung conditions are also more at risk, said Terry Mason, chief operating officer at Illinois' Cook County Department of Public Health. Mason explained that these conditions cause long-term lung damage that makes a recovery from Coronavirus more difficult.