106-yr-old Delhi man who was a kid during Spanish Flu survives Covid
-- Reuters/file photo

Kunal Dutt

New Delhi

A centenarian man from Delhi, who was four years old during the 1918 Spanish Flu, has survived COVID-19 and recovered faster than his son, in his 70s, at a dedicated coronavirus facility here, doctors said. The 106-year-old patient (name withheld), a resident of Old Delhi, was discharged from the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (RGSSH) recently after recovering, they said.

His wife, son and another family member, who were also infected by the novel coronavirus, have recuperated, the doctors said. The man was brought to the RGSSH, a dedicated COVID-19 facility of the city government in east Delhi, in mid-April and discharged early May, a senior doctor said.

When asked about the details of his wife and the other family member, the doctor only said, "The 106-year-old man and his son, in his 70s, had recovered at our hospital, but the rest two recuperated at another COVID facility". Another senior doctor told PTI: "Perhaps, he is the first reported case of COVID-19 in Delhi who also went through the dreaded Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 which like COVID-19 had also ravaged the world."

"And, he not only recovered from COVID-19, he recovered faster than his son, who is also very old," the doctor said. The Spanish Flu was a pandemic which hit the world 102 years ago, and affected nearly one-third of the global population at the time.

"The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history. It was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin. Although there is not universal consensus regarding where the virus originated, it spread worldwide during 1918-1919," according to the Centre for Diseases Control (CDC) in the US.

A family member of the centenarian man, who did not wish to be named, said, "At his age of 106, he has defeated coronavirus, and he was a kid during the Spanish Flu. He's a corona warrior, and he's doing fine now".

According to experts, the situation during the Spanish Flu pandemic was very similar to the current COVID-19 situation, with directions issued on social distancing, stay-at-home orders and use of masks bring prescribed.

In the US, it was first identified in military personnel in spring 1918. It is estimated that about 6,75,000 deaths occurred in America, the CDC said.

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