Story at a Glance

  • More than 5,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Italy, the epicenter of the outbreak in Europe.
  • A 95-year-old Italian woman is recovering from the disease in the hospital after being diagnosed earlier this month.
  • Her recovery brings hope to the country amid a national lockdown and much uncertainty.

At 95, Alma Clara Corsini might be the oldest woman in Italy to recover from the novel coronavirus, and the Gazetta Di Modena reports she did it without antiviral therapy.

Corsini was admitted to a hospital in Pavullo in northern Italy on March 5 after being diagnosed with COVID-19, which has infected more than 60,000 people in Italy and killed more than 5,000. Older people are at especially high risk for contracting the disease, and the risk of serious illness or death increases after the age of 80. 

"I'm fine," she told the Italian newspaper. "They were good people who looked after me well, and now they'll send me home in a little while." 

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She had shown few symptoms at the retirement home in Fanano where she stays, and the doctor who sent her to the hospital was initially concerned she might be anemic. 

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"They told me that I still have a strong physique," Corsini told the Gazzetta di Modena. "Despite my years I still defend myself well.”

Antivirals or anti-inflammatories would have been too strong for her, doctors told the Italian newspaper, so they treated Corsini with antibiotics. Nine days after she tested positive, she was tested again — and the results came back negative. 

Corsini will return to the retirement home, where those who had come in contact with her, including her roommate, have all tested negative for COVID-19. Her story is one of the first signs of hope as the country sees a smaller increase in new coronavirus cases for the second straight day


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Published on Mar 23, 2020