People With Type A Blood Far More Likely To Have Severe Case If Infected With Virus
Researchers are finding genetic links to why patients react so differently to the virus. No one knows why Type A blood would play a role. “That is haunting me, quite honestly,” said Andre Franke, a molecular geneticist at the University of Kiel in Germany. In other scientific news: asymptomatic cases, infection risks and convalescent plasma.
The New York Times:
Genes May Leave Some People More Vulnerable To Severe Covid-19
Why do some people infected with the coronavirus suffer only mild symptoms, while others become deathly ill? Geneticists have been scouring our DNA for clues. Now, a study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Variations at two spots in the human genome are associated with an increased risk of respiratory failure in patients with Covid-19, the researchers found. One of these spots includes the gene that determines blood types. (Zimmer, 6/3)
Explainer: Are Asymptomatic COVID-19 Patients Safe Or Silent Carriers?
China said 300 symptomless carriers of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, the epicentre of the pandemic, had not been found to be infectious, in a bid to reassure people as countries ease restrictions. But some experts say asymptomatic infections are common, presenting a huge challenge in the control of the disease. (Cadell and Liu, 6/3)
The Associated Press:
Can I Get COVID-19 Through My Eyes Or Ears?
Can I get COVID-19 through my eyes or ears? It’s possible through the eyes, but not likely through the ears. As with the nose and mouth, doctors say the eyes may be a route of infection if someone with the virus coughs or sneezes nearby. Infection is also possible when rubbing your eyes with hands that have been exposed to the virus. (6/4)
Obesity, Atypical Immune Response In Some Kids With COVID-19
A retrospective single-center case series of 50 hospitalized pediatric COVID-19 patients in New York City found that respiratory symptoms were common but not ubiquitous, that most children had underlying illnesses, and that obese patients were likely to require mechanical ventilation. A separate single-center case series published today in JAMA Network Open found that that pediatric COVID-19 patients with moderate disease had higher levels of the inflammatory marker interleukin 10 and lower levels of neutrophil immune cells than those with mild illness, suggesting that the virus may be associated with abnormal immune responses. (Van Beusekom, 6/3)
Convalescent Plasma Not Helpful In China Study; Hydroxychloroquine Doesn't Prevent Infection
Infusions of antibody-rich blood plasma from people who have recovered from the coronavirus, so-called convalescent plasma, failed to make a difference in a study of hospitalized patients in China, researchers reported on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In a randomized trial involving 103 COVID-19 patients, convalescent plasma made no difference in the time it took to show signs of improvement or in rates of death at 28 days versus a placebo. (Lapid, 6/3)