Genetics could play role in coronavirus deaths, health experts say

Health experts say genetics could play a role in how vulnerable a person is to contracting the coronavirus — and whether they are more at risk of dying from the illness.

Chrysan Cronin, a public health professor at Muhlenberg College said that underlining health conditions passed down through families could make a person more prone to viruses.

“Family genetic variations could make them more susceptible to the illness,” Cronin told The Post.

“You might have a predisposition to some of the same factors — heart disease or obesity — that make you more vulnerable. That would not be unprecedented. We saw this with the poliovirus.”

Cronin’s comments come after a tight-knit New Jersey family lost four of their kin to the COVID-19 pandemic in less than a week.

When asked if ethnic background could also play a role in a person’s likelihood of becoming infected, Cronin said it is “not outside the realm of possibility.”

In fact, health experts are already researching how genes could make a person infected with the coronavirus more at risk of severe illness or death.

“That’s really being looked into right now,” said Dr. Jeffrey Jahre, an infectious disease expert with St. Luke’s University Health Network told The Morning Call.

“We know a lot about this disease but there’s also a tremendous amount that we don’t know and are continuing to learn about.”

Last week, Grace Fusco, a mother of 11, and three of her offspring — Carmine Fusco, 55, Rita Fusco Jackson, 56, and Vincent Fusco, 53 — died from the illness within days of one another. Three of the eight surviving siblings were also hospitalized.

Source: Read Full Article