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Why does COVID-19 kill so many seniors in long-term care?

Dr. Marc Romney working in a lab. Having long chased the next emerging pathogen, Romney is now leading a sweeping study to determine why COVID-19 has killed so many in long-term care and how long vaccines will protect them into the future. (Photo credit: Times Colonist)
Dr. Marc Romney working in a lab. Having long chased the next emerging pathogen, Romney is now leading a sweeping study to determine why COVID-19 has killed so many in long-term care and how long vaccines will protect them into the future. (Photo credit: Times Colonist)

COVID-19 has killed more people in long-term care homes than anywhere else in British Columbia. Now, a sweeping new study is setting out to answer the question: Why them?

The study, which involves over a dozen of B.C.’s leading virologists, immunologists and lab researchers, hinges on how elderly immune systems respond to a coronavirus infection. From there, researchers will look at elderly immune responses to vaccines — both in those who never tested positive for the virus and those who recovered from a previous infection. “We still don’t know why COVID is having such a devastating impact on long-term care, especially the residents,” said lead researcher Dr. Marc Romney, a clinical associate professor in the University of B.C.’s faculty of medicine and the medical leader for medical microbiology and virology at St. Paul’s Hospital.

Click here for the full story on Times Colonist.

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