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Allergies, asthma, and coronavirus: Your questions, answered

DETROIT – Given that the coronavirus is a respiratory virus, it would make sense that other respiratory problems would increase your risk. But that’s not what the initial reports out of china found, and new research may help explain why.

Respiratory allergies and allergic asthma trigger a chain of events inside the body.

Research by the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests one of those events may help reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.

Their study looked at levels of something called Ace-2, a gene that makes receptors that the coronavirus uses to sneak into our cells.

Having more Ace-2 receptors appears to raise your risk of suffering more serious symptoms from COVID-19.

That’s what we’ve seen in people with high blood pressure or obesity.

But when researchers tested Ace-2 levels in children with allergies and asthma; adults with allergies; and adults with mild asthma, they found all three groups had lower levels of Ace-2.

The theory is, that might make it harder for the coronavirus to infect cells.

The researchers say it’s likely that other factors besides Ace-2 are affecting the risk in people with allergies and asthma, but they hope this study might help advance other research into how the coronavirus attacks and the best ways to stop it.

The CDC does still list asthma as a high-risk factor for COVID-19. This does *not* mean you can’t it.

It just suggests that the risk might not be higher for some people with allergies and allergic asthma, as we might have expected.


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