A viral tweet claims that People with the AA genotype are prone to sickness during harmattan.
According to the social media posts, some symptoms exhibited by persons who came down with the purported “AA sickness” include fever, sore throat, catarrh, headache, and body pains. These are some of the symptoms associated with COVID-19.
The notion has been widely shared on social media, with many confidently attributing their sicknesses during the season to their AA genotype.
This claim is False, here are the reasons
Studies have shown that those with the AA genotype are more susceptible to malaria.
One study involving 372 children at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital found that “children with genotype AA (92.3%) were more susceptible to malaria parasite than AS (5.1%) and SS (2.6%).”
The study said the association of haemoglobin genotype with malaria was highly significant but is there an AA sickness that comes with the harmattan?
Bankole Olusegun, a family medicine practitioner, told TheCable that there is nothing like an AA sickness during the season. He described the viral claim on social media as “misconception and misinformation”.
“It’s not only people with the AA genotype that have fallen sick. I have people with the AS genotype that have come down with cold, catarrh, and cough. It’s the dry season and cold season. There are a lot of flu viruses around.
“We also have the COVID-19 pandemic. Very few people go for a COVID test. It may be the COVID-19 manifesting, and it may just be the regular flu we see around the harmattan period.”
No scientific evidence supports the claim of an “AA sickness” during harmattan.
This report was written by TheCable and WABMA is rebroadcasting as part of the Nigerian Fact-checkers’ Coalition initiative.
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