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Genetic factor may soften COVID blow for Japanese: study

Research suggests T cells that remember cold viruses react to SARS-CoV-2

A computer image created by Irish company Nexu Science Communication together with Trinity College in Dublin shows a coronavirus model.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- A genetic feature linked to white blood cells found in more than half of Japanese people may help the body fight back against COVID-19, activating immune cells that recognize seasonal cold viruses, according to a study by Japan's Riken research institute.

The research, published online in the British journal Communications Biology, is part of an effort to dig deeper into what appear to be relatively low rates of death and serious illness from COVID-19 in Japan.

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