New Study Suggests Genetics Could Play A Factor In COVID-19 Symptoms

Wednesday, January 26th 2022, 10:49 am

Doctors have new insight into why some people with COVID-19 lose their sense of smell and taste, while others don't.

This information is all coming out of a study from the journal Nature Genetics.

It talks about how COVID patients with a specific gene have a higher chance of losing their taste and smell after infection, unveiling just another step in figuring out this disease.

Scientists believe your genetics play a role, and there are cells in parts of the nose that react to the virus first.

Dr. Bratzler with OU Health said in a statement to News 9,

"The nose is often the site of the first infection with COVID (hence the need to cover your nose with a mask).
This study suggests that people who lose their senses of taste and smell have a common genetic pattern on the chromosome that seems to control the sense of smell or olfactory genes.”

Scientists said someone with this more sensitive genetic pattern is 11% more likely to experience loss of smell or taste than everyone else.

And some people who have this gene didn't lose their sense of smell.

But doctors across the state said this is just more information they can use to unravel the virus, and it reveals that genes play a large role in how our body works. 

 "We know that there is a small group in Italy that have a gene that makes them immune to HIV," said Dr. David Chansolme, with Integris Health. 

 While the Omicron variant is the most common variant we are seeing right now, it is not affecting patients' smell as much as the original variant.


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