Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Medical Basis for Increased Susceptibility of COVID-19 among the Navajo and other Indigenous Tribes

Version 1 : Received: 13 April 2020 / Approved: 14 April 2020 / Online: 14 April 2020 (08:43:11 CEST)

How to cite: De Soto, J.; Hakim, S. Medical Basis for Increased Susceptibility of COVID-19 among the Navajo and other Indigenous Tribes . Preprints 2020, 2020040217 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0217.v1). De Soto, J.; Hakim, S. Medical Basis for Increased Susceptibility of COVID-19 among the Navajo and other Indigenous Tribes . Preprints 2020, 2020040217 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0217.v1).

Abstract

Introduction The COVID-19 virus was initially reported in Dec 2019 as the causative agent of a pneumonia breakout in Wuhan China. This virus rapidly spread from China to Europe and the East Coast of the United States eventually reaching the South West United States and indigenous tribes in mid -March. Since, then the indigenous tribes have been devasted by the virus which the Governor of New Mexico has likened as an existential threat. Methodology A PubMed search was performed utilizing the words: Navajo Indian, Indigenous Indian, Wuhan Virus, COVID-19, SARs coronavirus, ACE2, S protein, virulence, clinical presentation, epidemiology, genome, treatment, structure, MERs, pathogenesis and/or pathology alone and in combination with other terms. Each paper was evaluated by three content experts for quality, reproducibility, credibility and reputation of the journal Results: Navajo’s and other indigenous peoples may have elevated levels of ACE2 receptors in their lungs and other tissues allowing greater susceptibility to the COVID-19 virus. Increased levels of diabetes and protein nutrition are directly related to increased morbidity and mortality in this group while obesity, COPD, and heart diseas are not. The increased morbidity and mortality is exasperated by an inability to test for COVID-19 Conclusion: The infectivity rate of Navaho’s on the reservation is 22 times higher than the national average with a death rate near 4%. Comorbidites account for some of the increased morbidity and mortality while lack of access to adequate health care unnecessarily magnifies the poor outcome. The threat to indigenous tribes in the Southwest of COVID-19 is dire.

Subject Areas

COVID-19; Indigenous Tribes; Co-morbidities; Corona Virus; Navaho

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