COVID-19: Food allergy reduces the risk of infection

The Human Epidemiology and Response to SARS-CoV-2 (HEROS) Study also found that children under 12 years of age are as susceptible to infection with the virus as adolescents and adults, but confirms that the majority of infections are in children, 75% asymptomatic versus 59% in adolescents and 38% in adults. Finally, the study provides another confirmation, which is the high rate of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within families with children… The range of viral load in infected children is comparable to that of adolescents and adults. Therefore, young children may be highly effective carriers of SARS-CoV-2 within the family. So the researchers ask again the much-discussed question about their vaccination …:

“This data demonstrates the importance of vaccinating children and implementing other public health measures to prevent them from contracting SARS-CoV-2, with the goal of protecting both children and their most vulnerable loved ones against the virus.” At least, that’s the position of Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the NIAID, a position that continues to stir controversy.

Sensitivity decreases viral cell receptors

This is the new conclusion of the HEROS study that monitored the occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in more than 4,000 participants from nearly 1,400 households, including at least one person aged 21 or younger. The study was conducted in 12 cities in the United States, between May 2020 and February 2021, before the widespread spread of the COVID-19 vaccine and before the emergence of worrying variables. About half of the participating children, teens, and adults had food allergies, asthma, eczema or allergic rhinitis. Nasal swabs were taken every two weeks, and if a family member showed symptoms similar to COVID-19, further testing was done. Blood samples were also taken periodically, especially when cases occurred within the family. The analysis reveals that:

  • Self-report and/or diagnosed food allergy associated with 50% lower risk of infection

Self-reported food allergy has been verified by analysis of specific levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies;

  • On the other hand, there is no such association in cases of asthma or other allergic conditions such as eczema and allergic rhinitis.

What is the process? Scientists hypothesize that the type 2 inflammation, which characterizes these allergic conditions, could reduce levels of ACE2 receptors on the surface of cells in the airways that SARS-CoV-2 uses to enter cells. Additionally, differences in behavior among people with food allergies, such as going to restaurants less often, could explain part of the reduced risk. Biweekly assessments found that families with food allergy individual(s) actually had lower levels of community contact/exposure, but only slightly compared to other families.

BMI for risks such as obesity: Several studies have documented obesity as a major factor in the severe form of COVID-19. The HEROS study reveals a strong linear relationship between BMI and the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection:

  • Every 10-point increase in BMI increases the risk of infection by 9%;
  • We also find the effect of obesity: Participants who were overweight or obese had a 41% increased risk of infection—not of complications or the severe form.

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