COVID-19’s oldest known survivor: a World War II veteran who also survived the 1918 flu


By John Gage

Washington Examiner

A 104-year-old World War II veteran became the oldest known survivor of the coronavirus epidemic after defeating the disease in time for his birthday.

Bill Lapschies had a party with his family on Wednesday to celebrate his birthday, less than a month after he tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I don’t know,” said Lapschies of the win over Oregon Public Broadcasting. “He just left. Sit here and you can get rid of everything. “

Survival of the veteran is a rarity for the disease, the main victims of which are those over 80 years old. Lapschies had a mild case of the virus and never had serious breathing problems, according to one of his doctors.

“It could easily have gone in another direction,” said Dr. Rob Richardson, one of the doctors supervising veterans’ home care. “There are not many interventions that can be done. “

Lapschies, born in 1916 in Salem, Oregon, also survived the 1918 Spanish flu. He was later drafted by the US military in 1943.

Her daughter Carolee Brown said her father had an optimistic personality. His personality could have helped him beat Zhang Guangfen, 103, as the oldest surviving coronavirus.


Regarding what he thought was 104, Lapschies said to his granddaughter, Jamie Yutzie, “Pretty good.”

“I did it,” he added.

“I thought we could have a 30% death rate here in our facility,” said Richardson of the house Lapschies lives in. “Because all of our veterans have other medical problems.”

To date, 16 people have confirmed cases of coronavirus at the veterans’ homes. Half of them recovered, but two died.


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