Conditions

Certain Blood Types Have Higher COVID-19 Risk

Some people may be at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 because of their blood type. Researchers in China have found that those with type A blood are more likely to get infected by the novel coronavirus, while blood type O could be more resistant.

The new study, published on Medrxiv.org, shows that many patients who were infected or killed by COVID-19 were Type A. Meanwhile, there is very low number type O blood in recorded infections and deaths. 

“People of blood group A might need particularly strengthened personal protection to reduce the chance of infection,” the researchers from the Center for Evidence-Based and Translational Medicine in Wuhan said in the report. 

The findings come from the analysis of data from Wuhan, where the COVID-19 pandemic started, and the city of Shenzhen in China. Researchers looked into the blood types of 2,173 patients with novel coronavirus in the two cities and another 3,694 healthy residents in the Wuhan area.

People with type A blood covered 37.75 percent of the coronavirus patients in the study, while 25.8 percent had type O blood. In those who died of COVID-19, 41.26 percent had type A blood and about a quarter had type O.

The researchers hope the study would help health care workers improve the treatments for coronavirus patients. They said people with type A blood should “receive more vigilant surveillance and aggressive treatment.”

The team also suggested that hospitals consider identifying a person's blood type as a routine part of treating COVID-19. It may also work for diseases caused by other types of coronaviruses, Fox News reported Thursday.

However, scientists not involved in the study said it is early to consider changes based on the findings. More tests are required with a larger number of participants for the results to be added to medical practices.

“If you are type A, there is no need to panic. It does not mean you will be infected 100 percent,” Gao Yingdai, a researcher at the State Key Laboratory of Experimental Haematology in Tianjin, told South China Morning Post. “If you are type O, it does not mean you are absolutely safe, either. You still need to wash your hands and follow the guidelines issued by authorities.”

Study lead researcher Wang Xinghuan agreed, saying more studies are needed to get concrete findings. However, the team hopes their work would encourage further studies to help address the growing COVID-19 pandemic. 

As scientists continue to explore who is at risk of COVID-19 because of their blood type, health authorities warn that older adults and people with weaker immune system are more vulnerable to infection and severe disease.

Blood Type and COVID-19 A new study shows that people with type A blood are more likely to get infected by the novel coronavirus, while blood type O could be more resistant. Pixabay

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