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102-year-old born during 1918 pandemic beats COVID-19 for second time

"Not only has she beaten COVID at 101, she's beaten it at 102,” Angelina Friedman's daughter told PIX11 in New York.

WASHINGTON — A New York woman who was born during the Spanish Flu pandemic has survived COVID-19 for the second time. 

Angelina Friedman, whose recovery from the coronavirus made national news back in the Spring, recently survived a second bought with the disease, according to her daughter. 

"Not only has she beaten COVID at 101, she's beaten it at 102,” Joanne Merola told PIX11 in New York.

During the 1918 flu pandemic, Friedman was born on a passenger ship taking immigrants from Italy to New York City. Her mother died giving birth on the ship.

“My mother is a survivor,” Joanne Merola, Friedman's daughter described after her first bought with COVID-19. “She has super-human DNA.” Friedman has outlived her husband, Harold, and her 10 siblings.

Friedman, who lives in a nursing home in Lake Mohegan, first tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-March. After intermittently running a fever for several weeks, the then-101-year-old cancer survivor tested negative for the virus in mid-April, WPIX-TV reported.

Her daughter told WPIX that she received a call from the nursing home in late October, letting her know her mother had tested positive for COVID-19 again. She explained that her mother had symptoms, including a fever and dry cough, and the nursing home thought she might also have the flu. 

Merola told WPIX she found out on Nov. 17 that her mother had tested negative again. 

"She's not the oldest to survive COVID, but she may be the oldest to survive it twice,” she said to WPIX. 

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For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

Credit: North Westchester Restorative Therapy & Nursing Center
Angelina Friedman, a 102-year-old New York woman, has survived two separate bouts with COVID-19.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.