The recovery of elderly people from the coronavirus has provided a glimmer of hope to many across the world. Picture Pexels.
The recovery of elderly people from the coronavirus has provided a glimmer of hope to many across the world. Picture Pexels.

Many 100-year-olds are surviving Covid-19

By Rudolph Nkgadima Time of article published Feb 15, 2021

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WHILE studies suggest that the severity of Covid-19 rises with age, the recovery of elderly people from the coronavirus has provided a glimmer of hope to many across the world.

It is estimated that the risk of dying due to Covid-19 is 630 times higher in people over the age of 85 compared with young adults aged between 18 and 29.

However, as the pandemic’s death toll climbs, driven largely by victims in their 80s and above, there is some evidence to suggest that Covid-19 is not a death sentence for the elderly.

According to the Gerontology Research Group, which validates details of people thought to be 110 or older, as of February 14, there have been at least 232 people aged 105 or over reported to have tested positive for Covid-19.

The oldest known victim of the pandemic is 113-year-old Frenchwoman Marie-Florentine Jousseaume, who died on December 19 last year. The oldest person to survive Covid-19 twice is 106-year-old Brit Mary Nicholson.

Last week, the story of a 116-year-old, French nun Sister André, who has survived Covid-19 after three weeks, made global headlines.

The French nun ‒ believed to be the world’s second-oldest person ‒ turns 117 years on Thursday. She tested positive for the virus in mid-January in the southern French city of Toulon.

Sister André, who is blind and uses a wheelchair, told French newspaper Var-Matin that she did not even worry when she received her diagnosis.

“I didn’t even realise I had it,” she said.

When Capetonian, Bertha Meltzer, aged 103, survived Covid-19 last year, after a two-week hospital stay on high-flow nasal oxygen, she received an outpouring of well-wishes after a video of her being discharged was posted on Facebook.

Meltzer who is one of the oldest Covid-19 survivors in South Africa, and possibly the continent, was born at the height of the Spanish flu pandemic.

And when 103-year-old Kitty Venn from Johannesburg beat Covid-19 in August last year, after 14 days in isolation, her doctor said it was “exceptionally remarkable that someone her age survived a pandemic that has ravaged old aged homes throughout the world”. | African News Agency (ANA)

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