The receptors in the nose, that let coronavirus inside our cells, are found to be less common in children, giving a possible explanation as to why are children less susceptible to the infection, a recent study stated. For the purpose of the study, researchers from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, US analysed samples from 300 people who ranged between ages four to 60. They then found that older adults had more receptors in their nose, while children under ten years of age had comparatively less.
In the study, which was published in the Journal of American Medical Association, the researchers also revealed that “Lower ACE2 expression in children relative to adults may help explain why COVID-19 is less prevalent in children”. For the study, the researchers only looked at cells lining the inside of the nose, describing it as the "first point of contact" between for the coronavirus and human body, international media reported.
However, they added that receptors in other places like the windpipe “could have different effects”, perhaps even protecting against the disease. This comes amid as the pandemic has infected over 5,014,943 people across the world, according to the latest tally by John Hopkins University.
Meanwhile, doubling down on their claim the nose and mouth are the first points of contact between the virus in their body, reports from several countries noted that a loss of smell or taste might be an early sign of the infection. They added that it might even serve as a useful screening tool.. The idea of a virus infection reducing the sense of smell is not new.
The respiratory viral infection is a common cause of loss of smell because inflammation can interfere with airflow and the ability to detect odours. The sense of smell usually returns when the infection resolves, but in a small percentage of cases, smell loss can persist after other symptoms disappear. In some cases, it is permanent.
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