Genetics May Impact COVID-19 Severity

It’s been a global race to determine not only the cause and cure for COVID-19, but why some individuals experience life-threatening COVID-19 symptoms while others are asymptomatic or experience only mild symptoms.

Many scientists have turned to genetics for an answer. And while a whole picture is not yet complete, they are beginning to find trends. Specifically, there are two spots in the human genome are associated with an increased risk of respiratory failure in patients with COVID-19.

One of these was having Type A blood. Individuals with Type A blood were 50 % more likely to need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator. The other relates to ACE2, the cellular receptor needed by COVID-19 in order to enter host cells. An immune gene triggers an overreaction that leads to respiratory failure.

This information could be a breakthrough for the medical community—both in determining at-risk populations and providing tailored treatments for higher risk patients. Unfortunately, such technology takes time and is not currently available. Scientists are hopeful that these emerging trends will aid in the future to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Watch this video to learn more about genetics and COVID-19:

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