New research suggests the death rate from the COVID-19 virus is lower than expected. Does that mean it's safe to lift stay-at-home orders and lighten up on social distancing?
In an interview with host Pat Robertson on Tuesday's The 700 Club, neurologist and best-selling author Dr. David Perlmutter cited a study out of Chelsea, Massachusetts that suggests there are far more asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers than originally thought. That city's testing showed that one-third of its population carries antibodies for the virus.
"So that means that a lot of people who aren't normally being tested may have been exposed to the virus which means, when you do the math, that the actual death rate is dramatically lower. It might ultimately approach the death rate of the flu, which is certainly good news because early on we were told that the death rate – at least from the data we were receiving from China – that the death rate was somewhere in the neighborhood of three to five percent, which is very high," Perlmutter said.
There have also been reports of people in their 20's and 30's developing complications from COVID-19, such as blood clots and strokes. Perlmutter said that, unfortunately, America's younger population is not necessarily healthy, and those types of underlying conditions can lead to these types of complications.
"We have extremely high rates in America of young people having things like Type 2 Diabetes and obesity and even elevated blood pressure and we now recognize that those are powerful risk factors for having a bad outcome when people are infected with COVID-19," he said.
There is a bright side, though, Dr. Perlmutter observed. "It really tells us that our lifestyle choices really do control our outcomes," he said.
Perlmutter said there are simple things we can all do to minimize our risk. Get proper sleep, get some regular exercise, and eat a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet. He also said that prayer is an important component of a healthy body.
"Prayer has been shown to have an effect on the immune system and [a healthy immune system] is absolutely our best friend when it comes to dealing with this infection," he said.
To see Pat's entire interview with Dr. Perlmutter, click on the box above.
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