Having allergic asthma actually protects people from a severe case of COVID-19 – Study Finds

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Could pollen and seasonal allergens actually be protecting some people from COVID-19? Researchers in North Carolina found that people with allergic asthma are less likely to have a severe infection.

For people with allergic asthma, the same triggers which cause many people to sneeze when their allergies strike causes others to suffer an asthmatic attack. The study discovered the protective role interleukin-12 (IL-13) plays in the bodies of these individuals.

“We knew there had to be a bio-mechanistic reason why people with allergic asthma seemed more protected from severe disease,” says Camille Ehre, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics at the UNC School of Medicine in a university release. “Our research team discovered a number of significant cellular changes, particularly due to IL-13, leading us to conclude that IL-13 plays a unique role in defense against SARS-CoV-2 infection in certain patient populations.”