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Extra Coronavirus Entry Points in Lung Cells of Smokers and COPD Patients May Increase Risk of Severe COVID-19 Infection

The results of research by University of British Columbia scientists suggest that giving up smoking could lessen the chance that an infection with SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus will lead to severe COVID-19 disease. Their studies found that the lung cells of people who are current cigarette smokers, and individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), have increased levels of the angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE-2) receptor that the SARS-CoV-2 virus uses to gain entry into host cells and cause infection.

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