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A Chinese man is recovering from surgery after his lung collapsed following a 2.5-mile run in Wuhan, the initial epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, while wearing a face mask last week, hospital officials said Monday.

In a statement posted to Weibo, China's version of Twitter, the Wuhan Central Hospital said the 26-year-old suffered chest pain and shortness of breath on Thursday. Upon examination, doctors found his left lung had compressed by 90 percent and his heart was moved to the right side of his body.

A collapsed lung, known as a pneumothorax, occurs when air leaks outside the lung.

The patient underwent surgery and was listed in stable condition, the hospital said. Officials believe the life-threatening condition was caused by his wearing of a mask while running.

The hospital said the man began running around two weeks ago, slowing increasing his distance with each outing. He wore a mask each time because of the severity of the pandemic in Wuhan.


On Thursday, he cut his run short when he began having difficulty breathing and walked home, the hospital said. His family drove him to the hospital after his condition worsened.

Chen Baojun, director of the department of thoracic surgery at the Wuhan facility, said the man was already suspectable to a spontaneous pneumothorax because of his tall and thin frame.