It's All Relative? People With Neanderthal DNA Have Worse Experiences With COVID-19
Modern humans and Neanderthals are known to have interbred at various points in history, resulting in an exchange of genes than can still be found today.
According to HuffPost, Neanderthal genes may increase the likelihood of suffering severe forms of COVID-19.
A particular cluster of genes--called a haplotype--has been linked to a higher risk of hospitalization and respiratory failure in novel coronavirus patients.
The haplotype is found in about 16% of the population in Europe and half the population in South Asia. In Africa and East Asia, it is non-existent.
The genes are one of several risk factors for COVID-19, including age, sex, and pre-existing conditions like obesity, diabetes, and heart problems.