Factbox: UK's Johnson in intensive care: Health experts comment

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to an intensive care unit at a London hospital on Monday after his symptoms of COVID-19 infection worsened.

Below are some immediate comments from health experts:

* James Gill, a general practitioner and honorary clinical lecturer at Warwick Medical School:

“This shocking news should certainly be taken as a sign to reinforce the existing advice to maintain social isolation and distancing in order to weather this pandemic.

“We do not have enough information to, nor should we speculate about the condition of Mr Johnson. He is just another patient who is currently running the marathon of the COVID19. Without a doubt for all patients in his situation, this will be one of the most physically demanding challenges of their lives. The support of the ITU (Intensive Therapy Unit) team will be crucial over the next few hours and days to increase the chances of a successful recovery, completing this marathon challenge.”

Alison Pittard, Dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine:

“The Prime Minister is in all of our thoughts as he enters intensive care. As an ICU patient, he will have a fantastic multiprofessional team looking after him – it is the intensive care team, their experience and their training, that will be the central component of the treatment he receives. The experience will give him a special insight into what intensive care is and its importance for the future. I know he will receive the highest quality of care.”

* Derek Hill, a professor of medical imaging at University College London (UCL):

“There is no doubt this turn of events means Boris Johnson is extremely sick.

“One of the features of COVID-19 in all countries seems to be that many more men become seriously ill than women – especially in the over 40 age group. Also we know that people under about 60 seem to have a higher chance of making a recovery from critical illness with COVID-19 than older people.”

* Linda Bauld, a professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh:

“The admission of the Prime Minister to intensive care is of huge concern and illustrates just how indiscriminate this virus is. Anyone anywhere, including the most privileged in our society, can be affected and can become seriously ill.

“It is imperative now, more than ever that the rest of us comply with government guidelines to stay at home and not put others at risk.”

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