A man from Italy is one of the lucky patients who survived COVID-19. But doctors were surprised when they realized that it was not his first deadly pandemic.
The 101-year-old man from the city of Rimini was born during the Spanish flu pandemic that devastated the world between 1918 and 1919. It was “the most severe pandemic in recent history” that affected nearly 500 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
After 100 years, the Italian patient, named “Mr. P” by authorities, faces another pandemic. He contracted the coronavirus and battled respiratory disease at Infermi Hospital in Rimini, IFLScience reported Monday.
Fortunately, the man recovered and was able to return home in the past week. His family said his case sends a “message of hope” in these dark times when almost all parts of the world are fighting another life-threatening virus.
“Given the progress of the virus, it could not even be called ‘a story like many’ if it were not for a detail that makes the life of the person returned to their loved ones truly extraordinary,” Rimini Vice Mayor Gloria Lisi said in a statement to local newspaper RiminiToday. “Mr. P, from Rimini, was born in 1919, in the midst of another tragic world pandemic.”
Mr. P proves that even older adults could survive the coronavirus. Despite their higher risk of infection and complications, health experts said getting immediate medical attention before the disease progresses could increase their chances of survival.
“He saw everything, Mr. P., war, hunger, pain, progress, crisis and resurrections,” Lisi said. “Once over the 100-year-old barrier, destiny has put before him this new challenge, invisible and terrible at the same time.”
Mr. P is not the only centenarian who was able to recover from COVID-19. China previously reported a 103-year-old tested negative for coronavirus after receiving treatment at a hospital in Wuhan.
People of all ages can get COVID-19. But senior citizens and people with underlying health problems, like high blood pressure, heart conditions or diabetes, are more likely to experience severe COVID-19 symptoms.
The National Institute of Health in Italy reported in the past week that 85.6 percent of people killed by the coronavirus were over 70 years.