Sunday, 30 Apr 2017

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Last surviving person born in 1800s dies at 117

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Health Desk—April 16, 2017: Emma Morano, the world's oldest person who is also believed to have been the last surviving person born in the 1800s, died at the age of 117 years on Saturday at her home in northern Italy.

He physician Dr. Carlo Bava told The Associated Press by phone that Morano's caretaker had called him to say she had stopped breathing in the afternoon while sitting in an armchair at her home in Verbania, a town on Italy's Lake Maggiore.

Bava said he had last seen his patient on Friday when "she thanked me and held my hand," as she did every time he called on her.

While Morano had been increasingly spending more time sleeping and less time speaking in recent weeks, she had still eaten her daily raw egg and biscuits that day, he said.

"She didn't suffer. I'm happy she didn't suffer but passed away that way, tranquilly," Bava said Saturday.

He said she had been her usual chatterbox self until a few weeks ago. Since then it was clear, "she was slowly fading away," and spending nearly all day in bed, Bava said.

The Italian news agency ANSA said researchers from Harvard Medical School visited her in 2014 as part of a study into immunity to diseases.