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Liang Wudong, The First Known Doctor to Die from COVID-19

Liang Wudong (Chinese: 梁武东; pinyin: Liáng Wǔdōng; 14 March 1959 – 25 January 2020) was a physician at Xinhua Hospital in Hubei who was the first doctor to die from the COVID-19 pandemic due to nosocomial infection.


Liang was the director of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology of Hubei Province Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine Hospital (Xinhua Hospital). He had a history of arrhythmia and persistent atrial fibrillation. On 16 January 2020, Liang felt unwell and had a high fever and chills. He went to Hubei Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine Hospital for treatment and found that a CT scan showed that the lungs were white and there were obvious symptoms of lung infections. After being diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019, he was admitted to an isolation ward for hospital treatment, and transferred to Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital on 18 January 2020 to continue treatment. At 7 am on 25 January 2020, Liang died at the age of 60. On 3 February, Shanxi Zhendong Group Renai Angel Fund donated 100,000 yuan to Liang Wudong's family and donated 2,000 yuan (equals 308.25 United States Dollar) for living expenses.


A hospital-acquired infection also known as a nosocomial infection — from the Greek words nosos, meaning disease, and komide, care, is an infection that is acquired in a hospital or other health care facility. To emphasize both hospital and nonhospital settings, it is sometimes instead called a healthcare–associated infection. Such an infection can be acquired in a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation facility, outpatient clinic, diagnostic laboratory, or other clinical settings. Infection is spread to the susceptible patient in the clinical setting by various means. Health care staff also spread infection, in addition to contaminated equipment, bed linens, or air droplets. The infection can originate from the outside environment, another infected patient, staff that may be infected, or in some cases, the source of the infection cannot be determined. In some cases the microorganism originates from the patient's own skin microbiota, becoming opportunistic after surgery or other procedures that compromise the protective skin barrier. Though the patient may have contracted the infection from their own skin, the infection is still considered nosocomial since it develops in the health care setting. An easy way to understand the term is that the infection tends to lack evidence that it was incubating, or present when the patient entered the healthcare setting, thus meaning it was acquired post-admission.

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that roughly 1.7 million Healthcare-Associated infections, from all types of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi combined, cause or contribute to 99,000 deaths each year. In Europe, where hospital surveys have been conducted, the category of gram-negative infections is estimated to account for two-thirds of the 25,000 deaths each year. Nosocomial infections can cause severe pneumonia and infections of the urinary tract, bloodstream, and other parts of the body. Many types display antimicrobial resistance, which can complicate treatment.


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