Italy’s 1st known virus patient leaves hospital

The man known in Italy as Patient No. 1 in the country’s devastating outbreak of the coronavirus is out of the hospital a month after he arrived in critically ill condition.

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A medical worker driving an ambulance leaves a sports center where an intensive care unit was set up, near the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, on March 23, 2020 during the COVID-19 new coronavirus pandemic.

Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

ROME — The man known in Italy as Patient No. 1 in the country’s devastating outbreak of the coronavirus is out of the hospital a month after he arrived in critically ill condition.

Authorities in Italy’s hardest hit region of Lombardy played an audio message recorded by the 38-year-old man in which he says, “You can get cured of this illness.”

The man identified only by his first name of Mattia spent 18 days in intensive care on a respirator. After that time, he says he began to do on his own “the most simple and beautiful thing: that is, to breathe.”

The man is awaiting the birth of a child within days. Last week, Italian media reported the death of his father, who lived in one of the first towns in Lombardy that were at the heart of the outbreak’s start.

Italian doctors say that even before Mattia’s case, they suspect the virus was circulating in Italy and that some patients who died of pneumonia last fall might have had coronavirus.

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