If you haven’t gotten COVID but, here’s why it might be

New analysis sheds gentle on why some individuals do not take a look at optimistic.

When the pandemic started, it was surprising and scary to listen to that somebody you knew had examined optimistic for COVID. Although the pandemic ought to nonetheless be taken critically, because of the widespread availability of COVID vaccines and stimulants, getting COVID is way much less harmful for the overwhelming majority of individuals than it used to be. In truth, presently of the pandemic, it is stunning to listen to about anybody don’t The virus has been examined optimistic for the previous two years.

However, it is occurring. Why are there nonetheless people who find themselves not contaminated? Do they by no means depart the home? This may definitely be as a consequence of precautions resembling carrying masks, hand sanitisation and social distancing, however new analysis from the University of California, San Francisco means that an estimated 10 p.c of the inhabitants is asymptomatic for COVID. This means they might even have the virus and by no means know.

Related: Should you get the flu shot and the COVID booster on the similar time? Doctors share the professionals and cons

Why do some individuals by no means take a look at optimistic for COVID?

It is feasible to contract COVID, however by no means take a look at optimistic or present signs on account of the gene mutation, in line with a brand new research. “That was one of many challenges at first of the pandemic – spreading the virus with out figuring out you’re sick,” he stated. Dr. Roger Sehult, MDAssistant Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine at University of California, Riverside and Medical Advisor to On/Go.

Dr. Seheult explains that when the physique is contaminated with COVID, cells lower the virus from the within and show its protein fragments on the floor of the cell together with a kind of protein referred to as MHC1. “MCH1 is discovered on the floor of all cells besides purple blood cells and is identical all through your physique, however can look very totally different in numerous individuals as a result of there are totally different variations of the genes that make this protein.” Seheult says.

He explains that some individuals with sure MCH1 patterns current fragments of the COVID virus protein to T cells higher than different variations, permitting T cells to destroy the virus extra shortly. This implies that the COVID virus is killed quicker than it has time to multiply and have an effect on different cells within the physique. “It would not truly have an effect on the virus itself, however quite destroys its means to unfold by the physique,” stated Dr. Seheult says.

Related: Here’s How Your Immunity to COVID Will Happen When You Get a Second Booster

“The gene mutation helps individuals keep away from signs,” he says Dr. Purvi Parikh, MD, an infectious illness doctor at NYU Langone. “It principally makes the T-cells super-immune, or pre-existing immunity to different related viruses, in order that when COVID enters your physique, it can be shortly neutralized. It’s not harmful, however it offers a 10-fold increased hit with no signs.” He provides that this may occasionally apply to each the unique COVID virus and its variations, resembling Omicron and Delta, however extra analysis is required to verify this.

How can you be so comfortable? It’s all within the genes. “It can be inherited from a mother or father, making them virtually two and a half occasions extra prone to have asymptomatic COVID than in the event that they did not have this model of the gene.” Seheult says. “If somebody is fortunate sufficient to get this model of the gene from each dad and mom, the probabilities are eightfold.”

If somebody has this gene mutation, they won’t have signs of COVID and won’t unfold the virus as shortly as individuals with out the mutation.

Related: How lengthy after contracting COVID are you immune? Here’s what you have to know

There are different causes why some individuals nonetheless do not take a look at optimistic for COVID

Just as a result of somebody would not take a look at optimistic for COVID doesn’t suggest they need to ignore the virus. “There are many different causes why somebody might not present signs of COVID,” stated Dr. Seheult says. He explains that the signs of COVID might be very delicate for some individuals based mostly on genetics or optimization of their well being. For instance, an individual with a compromised immune system is extra prone to expertise extreme signs of COVID than somebody who is taken into account to be in good well being.

Also, if somebody has been vaccinated towards COVID and will get stronger after which will get the virus, their signs might be milder. If somebody’s signs are very delicate, they might not take into account getting a COVID take a look at.

Also, somebody might not have contracted the virus, particularly if they’re social distancing, carrying a masks, and utilizing hand sanitizer.

It continues to be vital to take COVID critically; he hasn’t left. There are some precautions that everybody can take to guard themselves. “Participating in public well being measures resembling maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, getting outdoors and having fun with sunshine and contemporary air, getting sufficient sleep and getting vaccinated can provide you layers of safety now and sooner or later.” Seheult says. And that is a superb clue as as to if or not you have a gene mutation that gives extra safety.

Next, here’s what you have to learn about treating COVID if you’re nonetheless experiencing lingering signs months after a optimistic take a look at.


  • Dr. Roger Sehult, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine at University of California, Riverside and On/Go Medical Advisor

  • Dr. Purvi Parikh, MD, is an infectious illness doctor at NYU Langone

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