Some people experience Covid-19 as nothing more than a mild cold, and others exhibit no symptoms at all. Then there are the thousands who sicken and, often, die. Scientists are working hard to understand the underlying reasons for such huge discrepancies in symptoms and outcomes. No one knows the answer yet. One theory: It is locked deep in our genetic makeup.
We know that age and underlying health conditions, such as hypertension, play a large role in determining how people fare once they’ve contracted Covid-19. But these alone don’t explain the wide diversity of symptoms. Studying the genetics of the virus and people who are more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 could not only help identify and protect those more at risk but also help speed treatment and drug development.