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2 Jul, 2021 14:59

Silver lining? For unknown reasons, global data shows allergy sufferers more protected against Covid-19, Russian scientist says

Silver lining? For unknown reasons, global data shows allergy sufferers more protected against Covid-19, Russian scientist says

It might not be much fun if peanuts make your throat swell up or pollen sends you into a sneezing fit, but, according to one top Russian scientist, otherwise inconvenient allergies could give you a helpful edge in this pandemic.

One of the country's top boffins, Moussa Khaitov, Director of the Institute of Immunology at the Federal Medical and Biological Agency, said on Friday that scientists have been baffled by reports that allergy sufferers seemed to be less at risk from Covid-19.

In an interview with RIA Novosti, the researcher said that "we are now one and a half years into the pandemic and there has been evidence from the very start that patients with allergies are less likely to become infected with coronavirus."

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He added that even those with allergic bronchial asthma, which causes sufferers' lungs to tighten in the presence of triggers like dust, cat hair and pollen, don't seem to be affected particularly worse than anyone else.

Citing international research to support the claim, Khaitov said that "it's still difficult to say what's behind this – there are lots of theories being put forward, but they still need to be proven."

However, the academic has previously said that allergy suffers should still get vaccinated against Covid-19 as soon as they are able to.

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At the same time, though, there are concerns that those with respiratory allergies could be unable to distinguish between their normal symptoms and those of a coronavirus infection. British charity Anaphylaxis UK has launched a Q&A for those who are concerned about their risk, and urged those with a continuous cough or a temperature – which are not symptoms of hay fever – to get tested for Covid-19.

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