Zhong Nanshan

Last updated

Zhong Nanshan

Zhong Nanshan (cropped).jpg
Zhong in 2015
Delegate to the National People's Congress
(11th, 12th)
In office
March 2008 March 2018
Chairman Wu BangguoZhang Dejiang
Member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
(8th, 9th, 10th)
In office
March 1993 March 2008
Chairman Li RuihuanJia Qinglin
Delegate to the National Congress of the Communist Party of China
In office
General Secretary Hu Jintao
Personal details
Born (1936-10-20) 20 October 1936 (age 84)
Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
Political party Communist Party of China
Li Shaofen  [ zh ]
(m. 1963)
Alma mater Peking University Health Science Center
University of Edinburgh Medical School
Occupation pulmonologist
Awards Order of the Republic (2020)
Known forDiscovering the SARS coronavirus
Scientific career
Fields Pulmonology, respiratory diseases
Institutions Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Diseases
Guangzhou Medical University
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 钟南山
Traditional Chinese 鍾南山

Zhong Nanshan FRCPE FRCP FRCPI (Chinese :钟南山; born 20 October 1936) [1] is a Chinese pulmonologist. [2] He was president of the Chinese Medical Association from 2005 to 2009 and is currently the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Thoracic Disease . [2] He is a recipient of Order of the Republic, the highest order of honor of China.


Zhong earned international fame for managing the SARS outbreak [3] and was renowned for refuting the official line which downplayed the severity of the crisis. [4] He was voted one of China's top 10 scientists in 2010. [5]

During the COVID-19 pandemic which was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, Zhong was a leading advisor in managing the crisis, suggesting evidence-based control measures to contain the disease and sharing the successful treatment plan with the international community. [4] [6] He was named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2020. [6]

Early life and education

Zhong was born on 20 October 1936 at the Central Hospital in Nanjing, [1] [7] though his family was from Fujian province. [8] He was educated at Beijing Medical University, where he finished his residency training in internal medicine.

Zhong completed further training at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London and the University of Edinburgh Medical School between 1979 and 1981, graduating from the University of Edinburgh Medical School with an MD in 1981. [2]


Zhong became president of the Chinese Thoracic Society in 2000 and became president of the Chinese Medical Association in 2005. He is currently the director of the Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Diseases and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Thoracic Disease. [2] Zhong discovered the relationship between protein malnutrition and COPD and has developed a calibrated formula on energy consumption for patients with COPD. [7]

SARS outbreak

When Zhong directed the Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Diseases, they received the second case of a SARS patient as early as 20 December 2002. Over the next month, 28 similar cases were reported in Zhongshan alone, and on 21 January 2003, Zhong and other doctors and researchers in related fields reported this disease at an emergency meeting and gave it the name atypical pneumonia. [9]

On 28 January 2003, Zhong felt sick and discovered that he had caught pneumonia. Concerned that the news that a leading researcher and doctor for respiratory diseases falling ill during the SARS outbreak would cause fear and panic for the general public, Zhong decided to not receive treatment in the hospital.[ citation needed ] Instead he returned home, hoping that it was not caused by SARS and that he could recover without treatment. With care from his wife, Li Shaofen, he managed to recover after eight days. After recovery he immediately returned to the Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Diseases to direct the fight against SARS. On 11 February 2003, at a press conference held by the Guangdong Department of Health, Zhong explained the disease and its symptoms, and calmed the public by asserting that it was "preventable" and "curable". [9]

Zhong, for the first time while treating SARS patients, employed non-invasive ventilation methods that increased the amount of oxygen that the patients could take in and alleviated pain. Zhong also insisted on proposing the use of cortisone for the treating of patients experiencing severe conditions, which significantly lowered the death rate of severe patients to 13% and decreased the total treatment time.

The decision to use cortisone was politically controversial at the time. In February 2003 the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention had already published the authoritative view that normal Chlamydiae was the direct cause of atypical pneumonia and, as a result, the only legally prescribed way of treating SARS patients was to use antibiotics. Based on observations of hundreds of patients in Guangdong, Zhong was determined to advocate for the moderate usage of cortisone. Zhong said later in an interview that he knew this might bring dishonor and defamation, but he persisted because he trusted in his observations and scientific judgements regarding the disease. [9]

With the support of the Guangdong government and the positive results in Guangdong in the treating of SARS disease, Zhong's method was later used as the standard protocol for treating all SARS patients in China. [9]

When delegates led by Dr. Evans from the World Health Organization visited China in early April, Zhong presented the characteristics of SARS as well as the treatment and prevention method in China. Zhong's presentation was well-received and his methods were adopted around the world. [9]


In early January 2020, Zhong visited Wuhan, in response to a growing cluster of then-unidentified pneumonia cases, and was reassured by city health officials that the disease was controllable and preventable. On January 20, however, he returned to Wuhan, to re-evaluate the situation, and came to the conclusion that the novel coronavirus was more transmissible than previously identified, and warned the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party [10] that authorities in Wuhan were likely understating the severity of the outbreak, and on the same day, publicly announced on state television the same. [10] In later reporting of his state TV broadcast he recommended that "a quarantine period of 10 days to two weeks is very effective, so there will not be a large-scale infection as people travel back from their holidays" but also concluded with the prediction that "the virus outbreak may recede in a week to 10 days."

Zhong has compiled a coronavirus diagnosis and treatment protocol, and has made great contributions to the prevention and control of epidemics, treatment of severe cases, and COVID-19 research. In August 2020, he received from Chinese leader Xi Jinping the Medal of the Republic, the highest state honor, for his outstanding contribution to fighting the COVID-19 epidemic. [11]

On December 12, 2020, the Affiliated High School of South China Normal University held its 132nd anniversary, a bronze statue of Zhong Nanshan was unveiled by himself. [12]

During the pandemic, Zhong had promoted publicly [13] the usage of a controversial [14] traditional Chinese medicine of Lianhua Qingwen capsule for treating Covid-19 infection. Though later he had denied any commercial tie with the pharmatheutical company that supplies the capsule, [15] on 4 May 2021, an article from Retraction Watch [16] showed that Zhong and his coworkers were financially tied to the Yiling Pharmaceutical company that supplies the capsule.


Awards and Prizes
  • 2020: Order of the Republic [17]
  • 2016: Guanghua Engineering Science and Technology Prize [18]
  • National Award for Advances in Science and Technology, China (1997) [19]
  • National Role Model of Labors (2005) [19]
  • WAO Awards for Distinguished Recognition (2007) [19]
Paper of the Year
  • The Lancet; 2008: The editorial board praised Zhong and his team, as they "clarified that carbocisteine can prevent the worsening of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and can improve life at an affordable price, which is of great significance to developing countries." (Note: The editorial board selected six papers for readers to vote, and announced two winners, one selected by the editorial board and one with the highest reader votes. Zhong's paper obtained the highest number of votes.) [20] [21]
Professional Titles
  • 1989: Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians [19]
  • 1993: Member of the European Respiratory Society [19]
  • 2005: Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland [19]
  • 2011: Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh [19]
  • 201?: Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London [22]
Honorary Degrees
  • 2005: Honorary Fellow of Hong Kong Academy of Medicine [19]
  • 2008: Honorary Fellow of the European Respiratory Society [19]
  • 2007: Doctor of Medicine (Honors), University of Edinburgh [23]
  • 2011: Honorary Doctor of Science, University of Birmingham
  • 2013: Honorary Doctor of Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong [24]
Professional Societies
  • 1985–1990: Member, WHO Advisory Panel on Smoking & Health [19]
  • 1982–1985: Member, Executive Committee, Chinese Medical Association [19]
  • 1989–2000: Member, Executive Committee, American College of Chest Physicians [19]
  • 1989–present: Fellow, American College of Chest Physicians (FCCP) [19]

Personal life

Zhong Nanshan and Li Shaofen in 1963 Zhong Nanshan and Li Shaofen in 1963.jpg
Zhong Nanshan and Li Shaofen in 1963

Zhong was an outstanding college athlete in the 1950s. The Beijing Municipal Track and Field Team attempted to recruit him as a full-time athlete, but he was determined to become a doctor and declined the offer. Through his sports connection, he was introduced to Li Shaofen  [ zh ], a basketball player who was a member of the China women's national basketball team for 13 years. They married on 31 December 1963. [25] They have two children: son Zhong Weide, a physician, and daughter Zhong Weiyue, a swimmer. [26]

See also

Related Research Articles

Severe acute respiratory syndrome Disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory disease of zoonotic origin caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, the first identified strain of the SARS coronavirus species severe acute respiratory syndrome–related coronavirus (SARSr-CoV). The syndrome caused the 2002–2004 SARS outbreak. Around late 2017, Chinese scientists traced the virus through the intermediary of Asian palm civets to cave-dwelling horseshoe bats in Xiyang Yi Ethnic Township, Yunnan.

2002–2004 SARS outbreak Epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome originating in China

The 2002–2004 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, infected over 8,000 people from 29 different countries and territories, and resulted in at least 774 deaths worldwide.

Shi Zhengli is a Chinese virologist who researches SARS-like coronaviruses of bat origin. Shi directs the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). In 2017, Shi and her colleague Cui Jie discovered that the SARS coronavirus likely originated in a population of cave-dwelling horseshoe bats in Xiyang Yi Ethnic Township, Yunnan. She came to prominence in the popular press as "Batwoman" during the COVID-19 pandemic for her work with bat coronaviruses. Shi was included in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2020.

Li Lanjuan Chinese epidemiologist

Li Lanjuan, also romanized as Lan-Juan Li, is a Chinese epidemiologist and hepatologist. She is a professor at Zhejiang University School of Medicine, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and serves as the director of the State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases. She developed Li-NBAL, an artificial liver support system that is used to sustain the lives of people suffering from acute liver failure, and won multiple national awards for her roles in combatting the SARS, H1N1, and H7N9 epidemics.

Timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2020 Sequence of major events in a virus pandemic

This article documents the chronology and epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in January 2020, the virus which causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. The first human cases of COVID-19 were identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

Huoshenshan Hospital Hospital in Hubei, China

Huoshenshan Hospital is an emergency specialty field hospital, built between 23 January and 2 February 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in China. The facility is located near Zhiyin Lake (知音湖) in the Caidian District, Wuhan, Hubei, China, next to the Wuhan Workers' Sanatorium (武汉职工疗养院), and is designed to treat people with COVID-19. The hospital has run under the jurisdiction and management of the People's Liberation Army since its completion. A second field hospital, Leishenshan Hospital, using the same design, opened on 8 February, A further sixteen other temporary treatment facilities were set up in converted buildings in Wuhan for isolation and treatment of COVID-19 cases. Huoshenshan and Leishenshan hospitals were closed on 15 April after community transmission stopped in China, almost a month after the other temporary facilities had been closed.

Leishenshan Hospital Hospital in Hubei, China

Leishenshan Hospital is an emergency specialty field hospital built in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The facility is located at No.3 Parking Lot of the Athletes Village in Jiangxia District, Wuhan, Hubei. Stage one of construction was completed on 6 February 2020, and the hospital opened on 8 February 2020. Along with the Huoshenshan Hospital, a further sixteen other temporary treatment facilities were set up for isolation and treatment of COVID-19 cases. Leishenshan and Huoshenshan hospitals were closed and sealed on 15 April 2020, pending possible reopening in the event of a resurgence of cases.

The Dabie Mountain Regional Medical Centre is a hospital campus in Huangzhou District, Huanggang, Hubei, China. Originally constructed as a new campus for the eventual relocation of Huanggang Central Hospital, it was rapidly converted into a quarantine facility as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic which originated in Wuhan.

COVID-19 Contagious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first known case was identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The disease has since spread worldwide, leading to an ongoing pandemic.

Wang Chen is a Chinese pulmonologist and physician currently serving as vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) and president of the Peking Union Medical College. He is a member of the Chinese Hospital Association (CHA) and Chinese Medical Doctor Association (CMDA).

Li Wenliang Chinese physician who raised awareness about COVID-19 outbreak

Li Wenliang was a Chinese ophthalmologist who warned people worldwide about early COVID-19 infections in Wuhan. On 30 December 2019, Wuhan CDC issued emergency warnings to local hospitals about a number of mysterious "pneumonia" cases discovered in the city in the previous week. On the same day, Li, who worked at Wuhan Central Hospital, received an internal diagnostic report of a suspected severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) patient from other doctors which he in turn shared with his friends. He was dubbed a whistleblower when that shared report later circulated publicly despite him requesting confidentiality from those with whom he shared the information. Rumours of a deadly SARS outbreak subsequently spread on Chinese social media platforms, and Wuhan police summoned and admonished him on 3 January for "making false comments on the Internet about unconfirmed SARS outbreak."

Dale Fisher Australian physician

Dale Andrew Fisher FRACP is an Australian physician who specialises in Infectious Diseases and is a Senior Consultant in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the National University Hospital, Singapore. He is also a Professor of Medicine at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, the chair of the National Infection Prevention and Control Committee through the Ministry of Health, Singapore, and chair of the steering committee of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network hosted by the World Health Organization.

The COVID-19 pandemic in Hubei was first manifested by a cluster of mysterious pneumonia in Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei, China. A Wuhan hospital notified the local center for disease control and prevention (CDC) and health commissions on December 27, 2019. On December 31, Wuhan CDC admitted that there was a cluster of unknown pneumonia cases related to Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market after the unverified documents appeared on the Internet. The potential disease outbreak soon drew nationwide attention including that of the National Health Commission (NHC) in Beijing which sent experts to Wuhan on the following day. On January 8, a new coronavirus was identified as the cause of the pneumonia. The sequence of the virus was soon published on an open-access database. Measures taken by China have been controversial. They were praised by the World Health Organization (WHO) for improvements over SARS-CoV-2 responses, but maligned by many in the international community for being slow to publicly disclose key facts or deceptive about the outbreak and for aggressively censoring information relating to the outbreak and public discontent from citizens online.

Xiaotangshan Hospital Hospital in Beijing, China

The Beijing Xiaotangshan Recovery Hospital, also known as the Beijing Xiaotangshan Hospital, is a tertiary-level general hospital in Xiaotangshan Township, Changping District, Beijing, China, occupying approximately 33 hectares of land.

The Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital is a public hospital located on Jinyintan Avenue in the Jiangjunlu Subdistrict, in the Dongxihu District of Wuhan, Hubei, China, and a unit directly under the Wuhan Municipal Health and Health Committee. Jinyintan Hospital specialises in infectious diseases. Jinyintan Hospital is one of the designated hospitals for emergency medical treatment in Hubei, including Wuhan. The hospital's president is Dr. Zhang Dingyu, a respiratory specialist. Its vice-director is Dr. Huang Chaolin.

Wang Guangfa is a Chinese physician. He is a respiratory expert at Peking University First Hospital.

Zhang Jixian is a Chinese pulmonologist. She is known to have discovered SARS‑CoV‑2, and was the director of the Department of Respiratory Medicine of Hubei Provincial Hospital of Integrated Chinese & Western Medicine. She is also a member of the Chinese Communist Party.

Timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 Sequence of major events in a virus pandemic

This article documents the chronology and epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in 2019, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. The first human cases of COVID-19 known to have been identified were in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019.

Zhang Boli (physician) Chinese physician

Zhang Boli is a Chinese physician. He is the president of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Honorary President of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE). Zhang is also a delegate to the 11th, 12th, and 13th National People's Congress.

Zhang Yongzhen Chinese virologist

Zhang Yongzhen, also known as Yong-Zhen Zhang, is a Chinese virologist known for his work relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. A professor at Fudan University, Zhang has discovered numerous RNA viruses and created a network of labs dedicated to monitoring new viruses. He led the team that sequenced and published the genome of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in early January 2020.


  1. 1 2 钟南山 (in Chinese). Chinese Academy of Engineering. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Dr. Zhong Nanshan, MD". Journal of Thoracic Disease. Archived from the original on 17 July 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  3. "SARS hero Zhong Nanshan named China's best scientist". whatsonxiamen. Archived from the original on 3 February 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  4. 1 2 "The coronavirus discovered in China is causing global alarm". The Economist. 23 January 2020. ISSN   0013-0613. Archived from the original on 26 January 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  5. "SARS hero named among China's 10 best scientists, technicians". Xinhua. Archived from the original on 20 December 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  6. 1 2 "Zhong Nanshan: The 100 Most Influential People of 2020". Time. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  7. 1 2 "Zhong Nanshan". The HoLeung Ho Lee Foundation. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  8. 院士钟南山回乡传授长寿秘诀. www.taihainet.com (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 25 January 2020. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 Ye 叶, Yi 依 (2010). 钟南山传. Beijing: 作家出版社. pp. 49–52. ISBN   978-7-5063-5267-3.
  10. 1 2 "Meet Dr. Zhong Nanshan, The Public Face Of The COVID-19 Fight In China". NPR.org.
  11. Liu, Jie. "Zhong Nanshan: outspoken doctor awarded China's top honor".
  12. 为自己塑像揭幕惊诧众人 钟南山人设遭遇两极分化. 163.com (in Chinese). 16 December 2020. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  13. "钟南山:有充足证据证明连花清瘟对新冠肺炎有效". www.cdctj.com.cn. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
  14. 观察者网 (8 May 2020). "中国推荐有效药,瑞典:成分只是薄荷醇,禁止进口". finance.sina.com.cn. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
  15. "钟南山否认商业代言传闻:我怎么会做那些东西 | 每经网". www.nbd.com.cn. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
  16. "Prominent Chinese scientist failed to disclose company ties in COVID-19 clinical trial paper". Retraction Watch. 4 May 2021. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  17. 习近平签署主席令 授予钟南山等4人国家勋章、国家荣誉称号. Ifeng (in Chinese). 11 August 2020.
  18. Wang, Shuo (王硕) (1 June 2016). 政解|中国工程院光华“成就奖”为何两度空缺?. Ifeng News (in Chinese).
  19. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Curriculum Vitae of Nan-Shan ZHONG (PDF). 澳門科技大學. 2013 [2020-02-09].
  20. Summerskill, W. (2009). Paper of the year 2008: results. The Lancet, 373(9660), 283–284.
  21. Zheng JP, Kang J, Huang SG, et al. Effect of carbocisteine on acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (PEACE Study): a randomised placebo-controlled study. Lancet 2008; 371: 2013–18.
  22. Honorary Editors-in-Chief: Nanshan Zhong, MD. Annals of Translational Medicine. [2020-02-09].
  23. 鍾雪冰 (23 March 2007). 鍾南山膺愛丁堡大學榮譽博士. 香港文匯報 (in Chinese). Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  24. 梁元生 (2013). 第73屆大會 (2013) 鍾南山院士榮譽理學博士 (in Chinese). Chinese University of Hong Kong. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  25. 钟南山的妻子是女篮5号. Sina (in Chinese). 16 June 2003. Archived from the original on 16 September 2019. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  26. 钟南山曾是400米栏全国纪录保持者 娶女篮名将为妻. Sina (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 22 January 2020. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
Academic offices
Dr. Zhang Wenkang
President of Chinese Medical Association
Prof. Chen Zhu