Sisters Die 102 Years Apart From Two Separate Pandemics

April 18, 2020
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Two sisters died from global pandemics over a century apart.

On April 14, Selma Esther Ryan died from coronavirus in an Austin living facility just a few days after her 96th birthday.

102 years earlier, her 5-year-old sister died from the 1918 Spanish Flu.

COVID-19 has been noted as the worst global pandemic since the 1918 pandemic, which the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated infected more than 500 million people worldwide and killed roughly 50 million.

While coronavirus is deadliest to anyone over 60 and with compromised immune systems, the Spanish Flu killed many healthy and young people including Selma’s sister, Esther, KXAN reported.

Selma was born in Hurnville, Texas roughly five years after her sister succumbed to the disease, so she never had a chance to meet her.

Selma’s daughter, Vicki, said she has been living in the facility for three years. She got the call that her mother and a few residents were running a fever in early April.

“Over the next five days I watched through the window as she got sicker and sicker. It was so hard to not be with her. Her 96th birthday was April 11. Our family gathered outside her window, but it was obvious that something terrible had happened,” she recalled.

Vicki said her mother wasn’t tested for the contagious virus until after her death. The Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office said she tested positive.

While the elderly are a higher risk for contracting the disease, the World Health Organization warned that young people are not immune.

The most common symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Less common symptoms include loss of taste and smell, foot sores, and pink eye.

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