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Dynamo, 37, says his 'tough start in life' is helping him battle through COVID-19

He revealed on Thursday that he had tested positive for COVID-19. 

And Dynamo has said his ‘tough start in life’ is helping him battle through his coronavirus diagnosis.

The magician, 37, real name Steven Frayne, added that he knows that ‘greatness’ can come from ‘negative things’. 

Strength: Dynamo has said his 'tough start in life' is helping him battle through his coronavirus diagnosis

Strength: Dynamo has said his ‘tough start in life’ is helping him battle through his coronavirus diagnosis

Dynamo shared a lengthy video on Thursday where he said he was advised to get tested privately after suffering from a ‘persistent cough and lots of aches and pains’ amid his ongoing battle with Crohn’s disease.  

Speaking to The Mirror, the magician admitted: ‘Some of my greatest triumphs have come from dark places.’ 

He continued to the newspaper: ‘My whole outlook on life came from not having a father figure – someone to guide me. I had to take my own path.’

During his younger years the star grew up on a ‘rough estate’ in Bradford where he dealt with being bullied at school.  

Honest: The magician, 37, real name Steven Frayne, added that he knows that 'greatness' can come from 'negative things' (pictured in 2014)

Honest: The magician, 37, real name Steven Frayne, added that he knows that ‘greatness’ can come from ‘negative things’ (pictured in 2014) 

He explained that there was ‘more chance’ he would end up in jail like his father than being a magician. 

Dynamo added that the likes of Amy Winehouse and Eminem made ‘phenomenal’ music due to negative things they have been through.  

He said: ‘Where I grew up, the estate was notorious and rough. There was more chance I’d end up in jail like my father than being a magician and performing at council estates to royal estates.’ 

The magician also told the publication that his symptoms were ‘quite severe’ but he is over the worst of it.  

It comes after Dynamo reassured fans  on Thursday that he’s feeling ‘better and better every day’ and urged his followers to stay at home, as he praised ‘incredible’ key workers for the commitment during the pandemic.

Update: Dynamo shared a lengthy video on Thursday where he said he was advised to get tested privately after suffering from a 'persistent cough and lots of aches and pains'

Update: Dynamo shared a lengthy video on Thursday where he said he was advised to get tested privately after suffering from a ‘persistent cough and lots of aches and pains’








In his video, Dynamo told fans: ‘Hey guys… over the last few weeks I’ve experienced symptoms such as persistent coughs and lots of aches and pains. 

‘I self-isolated for just over two weeks and took the necessary precautions. I was advised to take a private test.’ 

Dynamo explained that he was well aware most people could not afford a private coronavirus test, by he’d been advised to do so as he is on immuno-suppressant therapy after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 14.

He continued: ‘Now I appreciate that this not a possibility for everyone, this decision was made by me and my team for a number of reasons, first because of my existing health issues and the fact I’m on immuno-suppressant therapy, I’m at high risk.

‘Secondly although I haven’t a fever, my symptoms have been quite severe. And finally so that I was able to inform those I’d been in contact with so they could take their own precautions.

Struggling: The TV star told fans he was advised to be tested privately due to his ongoing battle with Crohn's disease and said he's feeling 'better and better' (pictured December)

Struggling: The TV star told fans he was advised to be tested privately due to his ongoing battle with Crohn’s disease and said he’s feeling ‘better and better’ (pictured December)

‘I’ve had my results back and I have tested positive for COVID-19. This illness doesn’t discriminate and can present itself in many different ways. We’re all genuinely at risk.’

Dynamo went onto urge fans to self-isolate at home to avoid spreading the deadly virus and praised NHS staff and other key workers for all they’re doing during the pandemic.

He added: ‘Now, touch wood my symptoms have been gradually decreasing day by day and I’m feeling better and better, I’m through the worst of it and I’m staying positive.

‘But if you’re watching this, please please stay at home. Keep away from others, tend to yourselves your loved ones.

‘You NHS and key workers out there the incredible NHS, Doctors, nurses and porters people putting food on our shelves. 

Keep yourselves safe! He went onto urge fans to self-isolate at home to avoid spreading the deadly virus and praised NHS staff and other key workers

Keep yourselves safe! He went onto urge fans to self-isolate at home to avoid spreading the deadly virus and praised NHS staff and other key workers

‘I think I speak on behalf of everyone out there ty so much for the incredible work you’re doing and you’re genuine heroes in all of our hearts right now and thank you for everything you’re doing. 

‘People please stay at home stay safe and thanks for taking time to watch this video, bye.’

Captioning his post, Dynamo added: ‘A quick health update. Hi guys, hope you’re all keeping safe and well. It’s been a bit of a rough couple of weeks so wanted to give you an update. 

‘As you know I’ve had some health issues over last few years and underlying conditions make this virus particularly dangerous and very real. 

‘I’m incredibly relieved to be over the worst of it but wanted to let you all know what’s been happening. Please take this virus seriously and remember that by staying home, you are protecting so many others.’

On the mend: Dynamo added he's 'incredibly relieved' to be 'over the worst of it' but admitted it's been 'a rough couple of weeks'

On the mend: Dynamo added he’s ‘incredibly relieved’ to be ‘over the worst of it’ but admitted it’s been ‘a rough couple of weeks’

Dynamo has been suffering from Crohn’s disease since the age of 14, but a recent bout was brought on when he was admitted to hospital with food poisoning in 2017.

The star also put his career on hold for several years due to a crippling battle with arthritis, but is set for a long-awaited return to screens next week with the Sky One series Dynamo Beyond Belief.

The government have urged all UK residents to self-isolate at home, as the country remains in lockdown with all non-essential shops, pubs, theatres and schools closed.

Only essential workers, including NHS and supermarket staff, have been allowed to use public transport. 

Unwell: Dynamo joins a slew of stars who have publicly revealed they've tested positive for COVID-19, including Donna Air, who was diagnosed after developing 'mild flu-like symptoms'

Unwell: Dynamo joins a slew of stars who have publicly revealed they’ve tested positive for COVID-19, including Donna Air, who was diagnosed after developing ‘mild flu-like symptoms’

Embattled: Other celebrities include Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, who tested positive for the virus in Australia

Embattled: Other celebrities include Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, who tested positive for the virus in Australia

Dynamo joins a slew of stars who have publicly revealed they’ve tested positive for COVID-19, including actress Donna Air, who was diagnosed after developing ‘mild flu-like symptoms.’

The Split star told her followers her GP has confirmed it is safe for her to see her daughter Freya, 16, and said her loved ones are ‘not displaying any signs of the virus.’

Other celebrities have included Hollywood superstar Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, who were diagnosed during filming in Australia.

Joining them was Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina, who last month both revealed they’d tested positive for the virus.

Also positive: Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina also recently confirmed they'd tested positive for coronavirus

Also positive: Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina also recently confirmed they’d tested positive for coronavirus








Confirmed: Breakfast presenter Fiona Phillips has also announced that she has the virus, after suffering from a 'dry cough, sore throat and headache' (pictured in February)

Confirmed: Breakfast presenter Fiona Phillips has also announced that she has the virus, after suffering from a ‘dry cough, sore throat and headache’ (pictured in February)  

Former glamour model Linda Lusardi was also rushed to hospital and placed on oxygen after being diagnosed with coronavirus, though the star and husband Sam Kane have now both been discharged.  

Breakfast presenter Fiona Phillips has also announced that she has the virus, after suffering from a ‘dry cough, sore throat and headache.’

Cascada star Natalie Horner has also revealed she’s tested positive for the virus but has reassured fans that she ‘most likely has a mild strain’ of the virus.

The singer shared a video on her Instagram page revealing her diagnosis after developing symptoms such as a fever, headache and loss of smell and taste.

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS?

What is the coronavirus? 

A coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause illness in animals and people. Viruses break into cells inside their host and use them to reproduce itself and disrupt the body’s normal functions. Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word ‘corona’, which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown.

The coronavirus from Wuhan is one which has never been seen before this outbreak. It has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The name stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2.

Experts say the bug, which has killed around one in 50 patients since the outbreak began in December, is a ‘sister’ of the SARS illness which hit China in 2002, so has been named after it.

The disease that the virus causes has been named COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019.

Dr Helena Maier, from the Pirbright Institute, said: ‘Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals. 

‘Until this new coronavirus was identified, there were only six different coronaviruses known to infect humans. Four of these cause a mild common cold-type illness, but since 2002 there has been the emergence of two new coronaviruses that can infect humans and result in more severe disease (Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses). 

‘Coronaviruses are known to be able to occasionally jump from one species to another and that is what happened in the case of SARS, MERS and the new coronavirus. The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known.’ 

The first human cases were publicly reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11million people live, after medics first started publicly reporting infections on December 31.

By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and recorded cases started to surge.

The first person died that week and, by January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed. The next day, scientists predicted that 1,700 people had become infected, possibly up to 7,000. 

Where does the virus come from?

According to scientists, the virus almost certainly came from bats. Coronaviruses in general tend to originate in animals – the similar SARS and MERS viruses are believed to have originated in civet cats and camels, respectively.

The first cases of COVID-19 came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in Wuhan, which has since been closed down for investigation.

Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and living animals were being sold there, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat. 

A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in February 2020 in the scientific journal Nature, found that the genetic make-up virus samples found in patients in China is 96 per cent identical to a coronavirus they found in bats.

However, there were not many bats at the market so scientists say it was likely there was an animal which acted as a middle-man, contracting it from a bat before then transmitting it to a human. It has not yet been confirmed what type of animal this was.

Dr Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, was not involved with the research but said: ‘The discovery definitely places the origin of nCoV in bats in China.

‘We still do not know whether another species served as an intermediate host to amplify the virus, and possibly even to bring it to the market, nor what species that host might have been.’  

So far the fatalities are quite low. Why are health experts so worried about it? 

Experts say the international community is concerned about the virus because so little is known about it and it appears to be spreading quickly.

It is similar to SARS, which infected 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in an outbreak in Asia in 2003, in that it is a type of coronavirus which infects humans’ lungs. It is less deadly than SARS, however, which killed around one in 10 people, compared to approximately one in 50 for COVID-19.

Another reason for concern is that nobody has any immunity to the virus because they’ve never encountered it before. This means it may be able to cause more damage than viruses we come across often, like the flu or common cold.

Speaking at a briefing in January, Oxford University professor, Dr Peter Horby, said: ‘Novel viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses which circulate all the time because we have no immunity to them.

‘Most seasonal flu viruses have a case fatality rate of less than one in 1,000 people. Here we’re talking about a virus where we don’t understand fully the severity spectrum but it’s possible the case fatality rate could be as high as two per cent.’

If the death rate is truly two per cent, that means two out of every 100 patients who get it will die. 

‘My feeling is it’s lower,’ Dr Horby added. ‘We’re probably missing this iceberg of milder cases. But that’s the current circumstance we’re in.

‘Two per cent case fatality rate is comparable to the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 so it is a significant concern globally.’

How does the virus spread?

The illness can spread between people just through coughs and sneezes, making it an extremely contagious infection. And it may also spread even before someone has symptoms.

It is believed to travel in the saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky. It can also live on surfaces, such as plastic and steel, for up to 72 hours, meaning people can catch it by touching contaminated surfaces.

Originally, people were thought to be catching it from a live animal market in Wuhan city. But cases soon began to emerge in people who had never been there, which forced medics to realise it was spreading from person to person. 

What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms?

Once someone has caught the COVID-19 virus it may take between two and 14 days, or even longer, for them to show any symptoms – but they may still be contagious during this time.

If and when they do become ill, typical signs include a runny nose, a cough, sore throat and a fever (high temperature). The vast majority of patients will recover from these without any issues, and many will need no medical help at all.

In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people.

Figures are showing that young children do not seem to be particularly badly affected by the virus, which they say is peculiar considering their susceptibility to flu, but it is not clear why. 

What have genetic tests revealed about the virus? 

Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of around 19 strains of the virus and released them to experts working around the world. 

This allows others to study them, develop tests and potentially look into treating the illness they cause.   

Examinations have revealed the coronavirus did not change much – changing is known as mutating – much during the early stages of its spread.

However, the director-general of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people.

This means efforts to study the virus and to potentially control it may be made extra difficult because the virus might look different every time scientists analyse it.   

More study may be able to reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people then change and spread from them, or whether there were various versions of the virus coming from animals which have developed separately.

How dangerous is the virus?  

The virus has a death rate of around two per cent. This is a similar death rate to the Spanish Flu outbreak which, in 1918, went on to kill around 50million people.

Experts have been conflicted since the beginning of the outbreak about whether the true number of people who are infected is significantly higher than the official numbers of recorded cases. Some people are expected to have such mild symptoms that they never even realise they are ill unless they’re tested, so only the more serious cases get discovered, making the death toll seem higher than it really is.

However, an investigation into government surveillance in China said it had found no reason to believe this was true.

Dr Bruce Aylward, a World Health Organization official who went on a mission to China, said there was no evidence that figures were only showing the tip of the iceberg, and said recording appeared to be accurate, Stat News reported.

Can the virus be cured? 

The COVID-19 virus cannot be cured and it is proving difficult to contain.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral drugs can work, but the process of understanding a virus then developing and producing drugs to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money.

No vaccine exists for the coronavirus yet and it’s not likely one will be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for similar reasons to the above.

The National Institutes of Health in the US, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas, say they are working on a vaccine based on what they know about coronaviruses in general, using information from the SARS outbreak. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to Pharmaceutical Technology.

Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and stop them infecting other people.

People who catch the illness are being quarantined in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public.

And airports around the world are putting in place screening measures such as having doctors on-site, taking people’s temperatures to check for fevers and using thermal screening to spot those who might be ill (infection causes a raised temperature).

However, it can take weeks for symptoms to appear, so there is only a small likelihood that patients will be spotted up in an airport.

Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?   

The outbreak was declared a pandemic on March 11. A pandemic is defined by the World Health Organization as the ‘worldwide spread of a new disease’. 

Previously, the UN agency said most cases outside of Hubei had been ‘spillover’ from the epicentre, so the disease wasn’t actually spreading actively around the world.

 

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