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Genes impact how likely a person is to get Covid-19, Latvian scientists say

Latvian researchers have found a human gene that increases the possibility of becoming ill with Covid-19 and having severe symptoms, Professor Jānis Kloviņš from Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre told Latvian Television  March 2.

“We studied not only the virus gene, but also human susceptibility to the virus,” he said.

And researchers have found a specific variant of the gene that increases the likelihood of a person getting infected with Covid-19. In addition, people who have a severe course of the disease often have this variant of the gene.

Such a variant of the specific gene could occur in approximately 15% of Latvia's population.

At the same time, he pointed out that if a person has such a variant of the gene, it does not mean he will definitely get sick with coronavirus.  Other factors play a role, Klovinš said.

This knowledge is not exactly one that will immediately be able to help medical treatment, but it allows scientists to better understand the mechanisms for how the virus works. And that, in turn, paves the way for the quest for medicines to fight Covid-19, the scientist explained.

The study included 500 people. The interaction of bacteria with the virus has also been studied, the professor said.

The effects of genetic features on Covid-19 morbidity are also studied elsewhere in the world.

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