Cracking the code to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19): Lessons from the eye
With the recent March 11, 2020 declaration of a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), further attention has turned to understanding and managing the outbreak of infectious disease termed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the novel coronavirus identified as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The SARS-CoV-2 gains entry into human cells through its ability to bind to a human ACE2 protein. Through our understanding of diabetic retinopathy, there are genetic-based variations in ACE2 levels that confer varying risk profiles for diabetic retinopathy. Similarly, emerging research suggests ACE2 levels confer varying risk profiles for COVID-19. Using data comparisons between geographic prevalence rates of diabetic retinopathy and existing COVID-19 mortality rates may enable improved predictions of the rates of spread of COVID-19 in various geographic regions. The goal of this report is to encourage cross-disciplinary horizontal vision in the field of medicine and science in order to further progress in managing and treating human disease.
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