COVID-19 ‘Immunity’ in Dhaka Slums: Do Genes Matter?

Syed Abul Basher, Jobaida Behtarin, Mohammad Riad Uddin, Salim Rashid

Research output: Working paper

Abstract

After coronavirus spread beyond China, many predicted that the virus would wreak havoc on low-income countries, especially those with overcrowded slums. And yet, nine months after the outbreak, the COVID-19 death toll in several of the world’s biggest slums is very low. This paper asks the question: Do Bangladeshi slum dwellers possess some form of immunity to the effects of COVID-19? To shed light on the problem, we undertook two rounds of a survey in three of Dhaka city's largest slums before and after a super spreader event, the Eid-al-Adha festival. The findings suggest very low or negligible COVID-19 fatality among slum households. We propose four explanations of the seeming immunity to coronavirus among Dhaka’s slum dwellers.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages21
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Slums
  • Public health
  • Herd immunity
  • Neanderthal genes

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