From the Andes to Tibet, the coronavirus seems to be sparing populations at high altitudes
Yet since those three deaths, between March 23 and April 3, at the start of Peru’s strict national lockdown, there has not been another covid-19 fatality in the entire Cusco region, even as the disease has claimed more than 4,000 lives nationally.
Infections have also remained low. Just 916 of Peru’s 141,000 cases come from the Cusco region, meaning its contagion rate is more than 80 percent below the national average.
The relative dearth of cases and deaths in the internationally connected but high-elevation region has prompted speculation here that the coronavirus gets soroche, the Quechua word for altitude sickness.
Similar results have been seen elsewhere in the Andes, and in Tibet.
Scientists warn that the apparent pattern might not last, but the as-yet-unexplained phenomenon has them intrigued. Researchers are starting to investigate a possible relationship between the coronavirus and altitude.
In one peer-reviewed study, published in the journal Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, researchers from Australia, …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]