Young, lean, non-smoker: why odds favour France's Macron in COVID-19 fight

Elizabeth Pineau, Michel Rose and Tangi Salaün
·2-min read

By Elizabeth Pineau, Michel Rose and Tangi Salaün

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron has caught COVID-19, but since he is 42, a non-smoker who is not overweight and has access to the best medical care, statistics suggest he is unlikely to suffer the worst symptoms of the disease.

Officials say he has mild symptoms and continues to work at his official residence at Versailles, just outside Paris.

Here is the statistical outlook for someone in Macron's age and ethnic group, what we know about his state of health, and the treatment he is likely to get.

STATISTICS

Macron belongs to an age and ethnic category which is less likely to be hospitalised with COVID-19 than most groups, a study by the U.S. government's Centres for Disease Control has shown.

Out of every 100,000 of the U.S. population, only 268.1 people in Macron's cohort -- white and aged between 18 and 49 -- were hospitalised with COVID-19 between March and December this year, the study showed.

"He's young," said Dr. Jacques Battistoni, a French physician and head of MG France, a lobby association for general practitioners. "There's very little risk of developing a serious form" of COVID-19.

MEDICAL HISTORY

French presidents are not required to disclose information about their medical history, and the Elysee declined to say if Macron had any underlying conditions that could increase his risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

The limited information in the public domain suggests he does not have additional risk factors, said Battistoni, who is not involved in Macron's care and has no access to his records.

Macron does physical exercise and appears to be in robust health, said François Patriat, a member of the French Senate and a Macron ally who meets the president regularly.

Macron, who became president in 2017, still runs and plays tennis when he can, Patriat said. He drinks wine moderately with meals.

The president has considerable stamina, Patriat added, being able to work through the night and to be bright and alert the next morning.

TREATMENT

Macron is under the care of official Elysee palace doctor Jean-Christophe Perrochon, a colonel in the French's army's medical service. A specialist in emergency care, Perrochon became the presidential doctor in 2014, a source close to the French military said.

Battistoni said doctors usually treat mild COVID-19 symptoms by trying to lower any fever and ensuring the patient is well hydrated.

WHAT IF HIS CONDITION WORSENS?

Should he need hospitalisation, Macron has a choice of two army teaching hospitals, an official from the army's medical service said - the Percy military teaching hospital at Clamart, near Versailles, or the Begin military hospital at Saint-Mande, on the other side of Paris.

(Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Gareth Jones)