PerspectiveCoronavirus

Susceptibility to severe COVID-19

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Science  23 Oct 2020:
Vol. 370, Issue 6515, pp. 404-405
DOI: 10.1126/science.abe7591

Summary

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to unprecedented changes in all aspects of our lives and has placed biomedical research at the forefront. One of the many pressing questions surrounding severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections is identifying the determinants of the clinical spectrum, from people with asymptomatic disease to patients with severe COVID-19. Up to 40% of infections may be asymptomatic, suggesting that a large proportion of people may be protected from disease (1). On the other end of the spectrum is severe disease, with an overall estimated fatality rate near 1% (2). On pages 422 and 424 of this issue, Zhang et al. (3) and Bastard et al. (4), respectively, report analyses of >1600 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 from >15 countries to identify endogenous factors that determine susceptibility to severe COVID-19.

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