Priyanka Runwal
April 7, 2022

After dodging COVID-19 several times during the pandemic, flight attendant Angeliki Kaoukaki wondered if she was a medical anomaly. But she’s possibly among a small group of people who might have genetic resistance to the virus. Scientists are now racing to understand how such resistance to COVID-19 could work—and whether the trait can be harnessed to develop new drugs against the disease.
Kaoukaki had already worked alongside other cabin crew members who tested positive without getting sick herself. Then in July 2021 Kaoukaki’s partner contracted a severe case of COVID-19 with high fever and unbearable pain that lasted nearly 10 days. Kaoukaki showed no symptoms, despite the fact that the pair isolated together for two weeks in their studio apartment in Athens, Greece.
She continued to test negative on multiple PCR and rapid antigen tests, and a test she took 23 days after her partner’s confirmed infection revealed no antibodies in her blood.

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