Doctors fighting to save coronavirus ‘patient zero’ – a healthy 38-year-old man

Italian doctors are reportedly fighting to save the life of nation’s coronavirus “patient zero” – a healthy, 38-year-old man, who has been struck down by the killer virus.

Medics at the Policlinico San Matteo di Pavia consider it a “moral imperative” to save his life as the virus spreads in Italy.

The nation is at the epicentre of Europe’s worst outbreak to date – with the total infections being 1,128 and the death toll standing at 29.

Doctors are still giving round the clock care to the man – named only as Mattia – as they fear what it would mean for a man in his prime to die of coronavirus.

It would have wide ranging and terrifying consequences if the virus was found to be capable of killing those considering strong and healthy.

Mattia remains in intensive care, unable to breath on his own, since becoming Italy’s so-called patient zero on February 21.

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Reportedly the man walked into the Codogno hospital complaining of symptoms, but he was not properly tested as he had not been to China.

After spending time in the emergency room that day, surrounded by other sick patients, he decided to return home.

And overnight his condition worsened, and he was back in hospital the next day – but the alarm was not raised.

Finally, he was diagnosed the following night – and by then he had infected at least eight other people, including his pregnant wife Valentina.

From there Italian began to report dozens and then hundreds of cases of coronavirus – with fears of the outbreak going all the way up to a sickly looking Pope Francis.

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Italian doctors have said Mattia is believed to be in the most serious condition of all the patients currently under treatment in the nation.

Dr Raffaele Bruno said: “[He is] sedated, unconscious and intubated because it is not autonomous in breathing.

"The problem is that it is impossible to predict the course of the infection. Others have already healed, but he is stable from the first moment.

"Unfortunately, unpredictability is the mark of unknown viruses.”

He added Mattia is stable for the moment – but the hospital staff are desperate to make sure they can save him.

Dr Bruno explained in Italian media that patient zero is being kept isolated from all others in intensive care.

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His wife Valentina – who is nine months pregnant – has been rushed to Sacco Hospital in Milan.

She is a less serious condition, but her parents have also been infected with the coronavirus.

And in one shift, Dr Bruno, 54, revealed he had worked 80 hours straight treating coronavirus patients – including Mattia.

Exhausted and trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the doctor said the only comparable outbreak was the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed 50 million.

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Dr Bruno said: "The unrest is skyrocketing. Even my daughter told me not to go home because she is afraid that I could infect her.”

He claimed they are running out of testing kits, and are using “cocktails of drugs” to fight back against the virus.

The medic said they were using antivirals and antibiotics to fight agains the infection – including even using an anti-HIV drug.

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"There is no specific cure for Coronavirus because it is a new virus that suddenly passed from animal to man,” Dr Bruno said.

“[Mattia’s] treatment is the same as for all the most serious patients admitted to ICU.”

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