The Grapevine

Coronavirus Shocker: Patients Die In Hours Without Showing Symptoms

The United States has started to feel the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak on residents, businesses and education. These effects are expected to continue to expand while scientists have yet to fully understand how the virus affects people. 

To help stop the virus from spreading, health experts have been calling on the government to speed up the testing process to identify COVID-19 and help patients get treatments earlier. But a much faster approach may soon be needed after doctors discovered in hard-hit Washington that some patients died even without developing symptoms of coronavirus infection. 

Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, said that 15 patients recently died of COVID-19 “in just a matter of a few hours" without symptoms. The facility is also monitoring dozens of its workers that have been infected, while 55 residents are scheduled for testing. 

"It was surprising and shocking to us that we have seen that level of escalation from symptoms to death," Tim Killian, a spokesperson for Life Care Center, said. 

Life Care is known as the epicenter of Washington state's coronavirus outbreak. Washington recorded the second highest number of COVID-19 deaths and cases in the U.S., following New York with 142 confirmed cases but zero deaths. 

However, Life Care has been facing challenges to contain the virus. The facility lacks test kits amid the rapidly growing number of patients, The New York Times reported

Health experts said that Life Care needs to be prioritized since it mainly serves as home to elderly. Older people have a high risk of developing serious complications or even death because of weaker immune systems and preexisting health problems like diabetes, heart disease and lung problems.

To help address the issue, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced that he plans to implement mandatory measures that would help keep people apart and reduce transmission of virus, The New York Times reported. The decision comes after federal health authorities reported community spread, or infections with no known link to foreign travel.

“Don’t go to crowded places, think twice before a long plane trip, and for goodness sake don’t go on any cruises,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Fox News. “Don’t wait for community spread. Now is the time to do social distancing, whether there is spread in your community or not.”

COVID-19 Estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) show that nearly 3.4 percent of patients with COVID-19 worldwide have died because of the infection. Pixabay