Professor Temitope Alonge, Coordinator, Oyo State COVID-19 Isolation Centres, said studies conducted on COVID-19 sufferers indicated that people with ‘O’ blood group might not even suffer severe illnesses including organ complications.
Mr. Alonge told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Thursday, that blood Group O, which is significantly represented among African populations, might explain the reason why Africa had fared better than the West since the emergence of COVID-19.
“Many Africans have blood Group O. This may explain why the severity of COVID-19 infections is low in Nigeria. This is apart from the availability of Vitamin D from sunshine,’’ he said.
Vitamin D is called “the sunshine vitamin’’. When the skin is exposed to sunlight, it makes vitamin D from cholesterol. The sun’s ultraviolet rays hit cholesterol in the skin cells, providing the energy for vitamin D synthesis to occur.
Mr. Alonge, a professor of medicine, said that Oyo State was setting up a post-COVID infection clinic to monitor lingering post-COVID symptoms.
He said that while COVID-19 had been seen as a disease that primarily affects the lungs, it could damage many other organs.
“From the findings we did and the extent of damage to the lungs, one thing we are trying to start now is a post-COVID clinic because most patients who have recovered have returned with diseases of the lungs and heart.
“This is not unexpected. If the damage to the lungs is because of pulmonary fibrosis, the stiff tissue makes it more difficult for the lungs to work properly and the heart works harder to overcome the stiffness,’’ he said.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a lung disease that occurs when lung tissue becomes damaged and scarred.
Oyo State has so far recorded 6,708 COVID-19 infections and 110 deaths as a result.