Months after testing positive for the fatal coronavirus, Yi Fan, the Wuhan doctor whose skin colour turned black while being treated for the virus, has regained his original skin color. The doctor was discharged from hospital last week.

Dr. Yi and Dr. Hu
Dr. Yi and Dr. Hu Twitter / Jennifer Zeng

Fan along with his colleague Hu Weifeng contracted the virus four months ago while treating COVID-19 patients. During treatment, the skin color of both the doctors turned black. Weifeng is still in hospital.

What caused the change in skin colour?

The 42-year-old doctors, working at the Wuhan Central Hospital, tested positive for the virus on January 18 following which they were admitted to the hospital. A video clip released by a Beijing TV station in April showed the skin of both the doctors, lying in their hospital beds, had turned black. At that time, the Chinese state media had claimed that the darkening of their skin colour was due to hormonal imbalance that took place in the body as a result of their livers being damaged by the virus.

Dr Yi fan
CCTV

The Daily Mail quoted a hospital spokesperson as saying that the blackening of the skin was due to an antibiotic received during the treatment. Duan Jun, the deputy director of the Department of Critical Care Medicine at China-Japan Friendship Hospital, stated that the medical team had given Yi and Hu Polymyxin B, a last-resort antibiotic, during their treatment.

"The drug had caused hyper-pigmentation in the doctors' body, but the condition would slowly disappear as they recovered. Previously, doctors thought that their abnormal skin colour was caused by hormonal imbalances after the virus had damaged their livers. Dr Yi and Dr Hu were both diagnosed on January 18," Duan Jun was quoted as saying by the publication.

Yi's skin regains its original colour

In the latest pictures released, Yi, who is a cardiologist, appears to have regained his original skin colour. Yi was discharged from the hospital last week after completely recovering from the fatal virus, which originated in Wuhan.

Earlier recalling the ordeal, Yi said he was left traumatised after contracting the coronavirus. "When I first gained conscious, especially after I got to know about my condition, I felt scared. I had nightmares often," he told reporters.

On April 20, while speaking to CCTV, Yi said his condition improved drastically after he was hooked to life-support machine ECMO for 39 days. He had stated that even though he could move in the bed, he was struggling to walk independently.