Polish scientists discovered a gene that is responsible for doubling the risk of severe illness or possibly death due to COVID-19. The discovery might help doctors identify people, who are at most risk from the virus. The research was carried out Medical University of Bialystok, Poland.
The study established that the aforementioned gene could be present in about 14% of the population in Poland, and around 9% population in Europe. The study further noted that the gene was the fourth most important factor that determines the severity of the illness after age, weight, and gender.
A professor in charge of the study, Marcin Moniuszko said that a genetic test 'may help to better identify people who, in the event of an infection, may be at risk of an acute disease, even before the infection develops.'
'In future, people with a predisposition to suffer seriously from Covid could be identified'
With vaccine hesitancy being a major reason behind the rising toll of deaths due to COVID-19, the latest discovery can help curb the same by identifying those who are at greater risk and encouraging them to get jabbed.
The death toll due to COVID has already touched 100,00 in Poland. The health ministry is planning to include genetic tests while screening patients for potential COVID-19 infections as soon as the end of June.
"After more than a year and a half of work, it was possible to identify a gene responsible for a predisposition to becoming seriously ill (with coronavirus). In the future, we will be able to... identify people with a predisposition to suffer seriously from Covid," Polish Health Minister, Adam Niedzielski said.
The ministry, however, didn't reveal if the study had been peer-reviewed.
British scientists claimed that had identified a version of a gene that may be responsible for the risk of lung failure from Covid-19 in November.