103-year-old woman credits 'courage' and 'faith' in surviving coronavirus

103-year-old woman credits 'courage' and 'faith' in surviving coronavirus
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A 103-year-old coronavirus survivor has words of advice to others around the world falling ill from COVID-19. 

“Give yourself courage, have faith,” Ada Zanusso told The Associated Press. She credited that, along with "strength," for helping her get through the illness. 

The woman spoke to the AP by a video call from Italy on Tuesday and wore a protective mask, as did her family doctor, Carla Furno Marchese, who sat beside her. 

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Furno Marchese said Zanusso was in bed for a week.   

“We thought she wasn’t going to make it because she was always drowsy and not reacting,” Furno Marchese said. 

“One day, she opened her eyes again and resumed doing what she used to before,” Furno Marchese said, adding that Zanusso was then able to sit up and later managed to get out of bed. 

The doctor said Zanusso is “old, but healthy” and said the woman had no chronic illness. 

Zanusso is isolated from other residents as she waits for a follow-up test to confirm she is negative for COVID-19, according to the AP. The entire nation of Italy is under a lockdown in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus. 

Asked by her doctor what she would like to do when “they open the doors,” Zanusso said she’d like “to take a lovely walk” and watch her great-grandchildren play together. 

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Zanusso, who turns 104 on Aug. 16.,  had four children, three who are living, and four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, according to the AP. 

Italy has been hit hard by the virus, with more than 139,400 confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Italy has reported the most deaths of any nation from COVID-19, with 17,669 fatalities. 

Public health experts have warned that while the entire population is at risk for contracting and getting sick from COVID-19, the elderly are among the most vulnerable population. 

The World Health Organization said last week that more than 95 percent of coronavirus deaths in Europe were individuals aged 60 or older.