THE CONVERSATION – It’s been over three years since the first known COVID-19 infection. Since then, we’ve seen hundreds of millions of cases around the globe.
You’ve probably had it – at least once, if not multiple times – as has nearly everyone you know. As continued waves of infections arrive, fewer and fewer people have never caught COVID-19.
But, even taking into account those who have had it and not realized, there are probably still some people out there who have managed to avoid the virus altogether (so far).
Last year, I wrote about people who had yet to be infected. Were they somehow immune? Did they possess some advantageous genetic mutation? Were they simply avoiding people and continuing to take precautions? Or had they just been lucky, and their time was inevitably going to come?
Unfortunately, we still don’t know why some people have managed to avoid COVID-19 for so long. Science takes time.
We saw research occur at unprecedented speed in 2020 to understand SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and to develop treatments and vaccines. But that level of funding and collaboration is hard to sustain in a world with so many worthwhile areas of research.
That said, some research is looking in particular at whether a genetic element helps explain why certain people have never caught COVID-19. But while this research is important, we shouldn’t lose focus on those who are suffering from the disease and its longer-term effects.
Is immunity in the genes?
The COVID Human Genetic Effort, led by researchers in the US, has recruited people with known exposure to the virus, but who haven’t had it themselves.
This includes, for example, healthcare workers or people who lived in a household with a confirmed case of COVID-19 … READ MORE.