Fitness influencer who 'thought there was no COVID-19' dies after contracting virus on holiday

health wellness influencer dies from coronavirus
The influencer posted regularly promoting exercise and healthy living. Photo credit: Instagram/Dmitriy Stuzhuk.

A fitness influencer who believed the COVID-19 pandemic was a hoax has died after contracting the virus on a holiday in Turkey. 

Dmitriy Stuzhuk had over 1 million followers on Instagram, where he promoted his ideas around healthy living and exercise. 

In a selfie posted last week showing him in hospital wearing an oxygen mask, he revealed he had woken up with breathing difficulties and a cough in Turkey, before testing positive for the virus after returning home to Ukraine. 

"As you all know from stories, I am sick with coronavirus," he captioned the post, according to a translation from The Independent. 

"Today, after returning home, for the first time there was an enthusiasm for at least writing something. 

"I want to share how I got sick and convincingly warn everyone: I also thought that there was no COVID... until I got sick."

In the post Stuzhuk reassured followers he was stable, but a day later his ex-wife and mother of his three children Sofia Stuzhuk announced on Instagram he had died. 

Sharing a photo of her ex-husband on the beach with their children, the 25-year-old wrote: "For the rest of my life I will remain grateful to you for our three beautiful children," she wrote.

"For all the invaluable experience. And for who I have become with you."