by WorldTribune Staff, March 29, 2020
Two centenarians in Italy, born when the Spanish flu was sweeping the nation, have survived the Wuhan coronavirus, reports say.
Italica Grondona, 102, recovered after spending more than 20 days in a Genoa hospital recovering from COVID-19, Dr. Vera Sicbaldi said.
“We nicknamed her ‘Highlander’ — the immortal,” Sicbaldi said. “Italica represents a hope for all the elderly facing this pandemic.”
Sicbaldi said Grondona was first hospitalized for “mild heart failure” and began to show some symptoms of COVID-19. “She only had some mild coronavirus symptoms, so we tested her, and she was positive, but we did very little, she recovered on her own.”
In the town of Rimini, a 101-year-old man, who was born when Spanish Flu was inflicting his town, has recovered after being hospitalized for coronavirus, the town’s deputy mayor said.
The man, identified only as “Mr. P”, has been released from hospital confinement after recovering from COVID-19, Gloria Lisi said. “Mr. P” was admitted to the hospital last week after he tested positive for the virus.
Lisi said the man’s recovery was “truly extraordinary” and would give “hope for the future,” adding that the story of “Mr. P” had instilled in people that “even at 101 years, the future is not written.”
The man was born in 1919, the same period of the Spanish Flu, the pandemic that killed approximately 30 to 50 million people globally, including some 600,000 in Italy.
“His survival is undeniably remarkable, especially with the high rates of fatality for older people infected with COVID-19,” the Science Times noted.
Italy’s National Institute of Health’s has reported that nearly 86 percent of coronavirus deaths in Italy were patients who are more than 70-years-old.
“The age distribution of the population in Italy may be one factor, the country has the second-oldest population worldwide, with 23 percent of Italian nationals being more than 65-years-old,” the Science Times noted.