Centenarian sisters survive COVID-19 and Spanish flu

Anna Del Priore is 107 years old. 107. Let that sink in for a moment. Staying active and honest are her recipe for a long life. The former tango dancer lives at Brighton Gardens of Middletown, New Jersey

"I like to sew, I like to dance, I like to tell the truth all the time," Anna said.

Not only does she defy the odds day after day, but in 1918 she survived the Spanish Flu as a 6-year-old girl. Now, she has just survived COVID-19.

"People were dying in the thousands in New York and New Jersey. She was losing weight and I said 'this is probably going to be it for her,' but she made it through as did her sister," said Anna's granddaughter, Darlene Jasmine.

As if this story couldn't get more unbelievable, Anna's 104-year-old sister, Helen, shares the same birthday as Anna, three years apart. Helen is also a survivor of the two pandemics and she survived polio. After a recent bout with COVID-19 just like Anna, she is back to her normal self.


Dr. Purvi Parikh, an immunologist at NYU Langone who didn't treat either sister, told FOX 5 NY that genetics probably played a role and that the sisters must have highly efficient T cells.

"T cells are white blood cells that we all have that help us fight infection, especially viruses," Parikh said. "So they may have T cells that are more efficient at fighting viruses than the average person and that could've been why they did well against the Spanish flu and COVID-19."

Whatever their hidden secrets may be, Anna always exudes positivity and a sense of calm.

"To be true, to love people and God," Anna said.

On Sept. 5, Anna will turn 108 and her sister Helen will turn 105. Anna told us she plans to keep dancing, laughing, and keeping her faith in God.

Anna and Helen

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