Wuhan Man Suddenly Gains Life-Threatening Weight During Coronavirus Lockdown

Zhou, 26, gained 225 pounds during COVID-19 quarantine, becoming Wuhan's heaviest man

The city of Wuhan has many tales to tell the world and here is a strange case of a 26-year-old resident who has gained 225 pounds in body weight while staying at home to avoid the Coronavirus.

When the lockdown was lifted, the man had to be rushed to the hospital by an ambulance on June 1 as his condition became too critical. He weighs 616 pounds now, becoming the heaviest man in the records of Wuhan city, where the novel Coronavirus first emerged.

Health Condition of Wuhan's Heaviest Man

Wuhan man
Wuhan resident gained 225 pounds during 5 months COVID-19 quarantine Weibo

The images of Zhou, released by the Wuhan University Central South Hospital on Chinese social media platform Weibo, showed that medical workers were examining the Wuhan man after he was admitted on June 1.

The Wuhan's heaviest man, Zhou had been working at an internet café before the coronavirus outbreak. He stopped getting out of his residence when the city went into lockdown in January after the COVID-19 cases started increasing rapidly in the Chinese city. He did not step out of his shed for almost five months and gained 224 pounds of extra bodyweight.

Zhou's story was revealed by a senior doctor at the hospital in a social media post. He wrote that the man had sought treatment in major hospitals in Jiangcheng but in vain. On May 31, Dr Li Zhen, the deputy director of the Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Center of the Central South Hospital of Wuhan University, received a phone call from Zhou, who desperately sought his help. "Doctor, I haven't closed my eyes for 48 hours. It's so uncomfortable. Can you help me?"

Doctors in Wuhan Hospital

Wuhan man
Heaviest man in Wuhan city Weibo

The next day, an ambulance was rushed to his place and Zhou was taken to the hospital's ICU. He was weighing 278 kg at the time of admission and doctors found that he had many life-threatening symptoms such as heart failure and respiratory dysfunction.

In its Weibo post, the hospital mentioned that the doctors at Hospital Sleep Medicine Center hope to conduct sleep monitoring for Zhou but he was too obese for any test. "The length of the chest and abdomen belt cannot be satisfied, and there is more fat in the brain, which affects the collection of EEG signals," the post said.

Since obesity is prone to sweat, it would affect the interpretation of EEG results and his thick arm has made it impossible to detect conventional physical health indicators such as blood pressure levels. It took more than a week for them to give symptomatic treatment to control Zhou's condition and on June 11, doctors declared him out of danger. Now Zhou has been transferred to the general ward of the Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Center.

What Actually Caused It?

Wuhan man
Heaviest man in Wuhan city Weibo

Dr. Zhen explained that Zhou was overweight when he was admitted to the hospital and he occupied the entire hospital bed surface without even turning over. He said Zhou's obesity was caused by genetic factors and endocrine abnormalities.

The social media post noted that an effective treatment method could be to induce weight loss by removing a part of the stomach through gastric-band or stomach reduction surgery. Otherwise, the excessive weight would soon overload the heart and lungs, posing a bigger to Zhou's life, it said.

However, Dr. Zhen is very cautious as the risk of surgery is equally high. "I can only hope that by adjusting diet and rest and other methods, it (body weight) can reduce more than 50 pounds in three months so that the risk of surgery will be greatly reduced," he said.

Until then, Zhou will continue in the general ward of the hospital. Doctors are hopeful that he would adjust to his new physical condition and cooperate to reduce his bodyweight as much as possible before a feasible stomach reduction surgery is performd on him.

Related topics : Coronavirus