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Cystic Fibrosis and COVID-19: ‘Airway in a dish’ probes relationship

People with cystic fibrosis, or CF, don’t appear to be especially susceptible to COVID-19, and when they do get infected, they don’t seem to get sicker, based on clinical data so far. But Ruobing (Ruby) Wang, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School who cares for patients with CF at Boston Children’s Hospital, thinks there is more to the story.

Based on experience with H1N1 influenza and other infections, Wang suspects that patients with CF may have different susceptibility to COVID-19, a dysregulated immune response, or both. She says such issues may be obscured because CF patients have tended to maintain good physical distancing during the pandemic and therefore have had comparatively low rates of coronavirus infection.