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106-year-old Delhi man, who survived Spanish Flu, defeats Coronavirus

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 was discharged from the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (RGSSH) recently after recovering, where his wife, son and another family member also recuperated after contracting the novel Coronavirus infection, they said.

"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," a senior doctor said.

Spanish Flu was a pandemic which hit the world 102 years ago, and affected nearly one-third of the global population at that time.

According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, the pandemic of 1918-1919 called the Spanish Flu was particularly virulent, and killed an estimated 40 million people worldwide.

In India, the disease is believed to have been brought in by the soldiers returning from World War I conflicts.

The casualty count in India from the Spanish Flu is believed to be nearly one-fifth of the entire fatalities in the world, though the statistics for mortality in India are too wide-ranging and debatable.

"We don't know whether he was affected by the Spanish Flu or not. We haven't seen much documentation on the situation back then as far as Delhi is concerned, but very few hospitals were there at that time. It is amazing this 106-year-old showed the will power to survive," a senior doctor, who monitored his situation, said.

But, what is more interesting is that he recovered faster than his son, who is in his 70s. So, he lived through the Spanish Flu and now survived COVID-19, hence, he lived through two pandemics, he said.

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