A 105-year-old woman who survived the 1918 flu that killed 50 million people worldwide has died of COVID-19

Dorene Giacopini poses with Primetta Giacopini, her mother, while taking a photo at her Richmond, Calif. home on Monday, September 27, 2021. AP Photo/Josh Edelson
Primetta Giacopini, who had survived the 1918 influenza, died on September 19 from COVID-19.

The 1918 flu claimed 50 million lives - roughly one-fifth the population of the world at that time.

Giacopini died in September after being admitted to the hospital, according to Dorene, her daughter.

Check out more stories from Insider's business page.

Primetta Giacopini (105 years old) has died from COVID-19. She was a survivor of the 1918 influenza pandemic which killed 50 million people worldwide.

Giacopini's daughter Dorene Giacopini said that "I think my mom would have lived quite a while longer" if she hadn't been infected by the coronavirus. She was a fighter. Her life was hard and she believed that all Americans who weren't there for World War II were spoiled brats.

Giacopini's mother had died in Connecticut from the 1918 flu. Giacopini was just 2 years old at the time.

According to the National Archive, the 1918 flu claimed the lives of approximately 50 million people. It was believed that about one-fifth the population of the world at the time was infected. In the United States, 25% of the population was infected with the virus. In the US, the average life expectancy dropped by 12 years in that year.

According to the AP, Giacopini survived World War II. While fascist dictator Benito Mussolini ruled, Giacopini fled Italy in 1941. Giacopini was warned by the police to leave Italy after Italy entered World War II in 1940. She was afraid she would end up in a concentration camp.

According to the AP, she escaped with a group that included strangers while on a train from Portugal to Portugal. She later traveled to the USA and gave birth in 1960 to Dorene.

Dorene discovered her mother coughing while visiting on September 9. Her mother had been fully vaccinated against coronavirus. Her caretaker was also fully vaccinated, as was the husband of the caretaker.

Dorene said to the AP that she made sure they said 'I love You'. She did the "See you later, alligator" gesture. "I think we both said, "After a while, Crocodile."

Continue the story

She said, "That was the last time that I saw her."

Giacopini was admitted to hospital two days later, and her oxygen levels had dropped significantly.

Dorene said that her mother chose to be taken off the ventilator by doctors because she "heard nobody over 80 does it."

On September 16, Giacopini died.

Dorene stated, "She had such an amazing heart that she remained conscious for more than 24hrs after they removed oxygen."

"I keep reminding myself that she was only 105 years old. She said that we always talk about my grandmother and her mother. "A worldwide pandemic was the only thing that could endanger them."

Business Insider has the original article.