If You Have Blood Type A, You May Have A Higher Risk Of Contracting Covid-19

Original Reporting CLEO.com.sgSally Manik          Featured Image Credit Freepik

A lot of people link blood types to personality, and while that is not scientifically proven, what has been proven is that some blood types are more susceptible to certain diseases. For example, a 2014 study found that people with AB blood type have a higher chance of developing thinking and memory-related problems that could lead to dementia.

All the interest surrounding Covid-19 has inevitably led to the question: what link does blood types have to the coronavirus that has infected more than 200,000 people worldwide?

South China Morning Post reported that a study done in China found that people with blood type A may be more vulnerable to Covid-19 compared to other blood types. It also found that those with blood type O were at a significantly lower risk of getting infected compared to the other blood types.

The study, which was posted on Medrxiv, was conducted by researchers from Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, analysed 2,173 COVID-19 patients across China, including 206 people who had died after being infected with the disease.

Here are some of the conclusions of the study:

  • Those with blood type A tended to develop more severe symptoms
  • People with blood type O have a lower risk of SARS-Cov-2 (the name of the virus) the infection and COVID-19 severity
  • Out of the 206 people who had died, 41 per cent had blood type A, whereas only 25 per cent had blood type O
  • There was no correlation to age or gender

The study recommended that “people of blood group A might need particularly strengthened personal protection to reduce the chance of infection” and that “SARS-CoV-2-infected patients with blood group A might need to receive more vigilant surveillance and aggressive treatment.”

So what can one do with this information? The researches suggested mitigation measures: “It might be helpful to introduce ABO blood typing in both patients and medical personnel as a routine part of the management of Sars-CoV-2 and other coronavirus infections, to help define the management options and assess risk exposure levels of people.”

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If you have blood type A, don’t panic yet. The researchers have acknowledged that the study is at its preliminary stage and that more work will need to be done. It has also not been peer-reviewed. Despite this, the researchers have urged governments and medical facilities to consider blood type differences when dealing with patients with the virus.

Image credit: prostooleh / Freepik

Gao Yingdai, a researcher with the State Key Laboratory of Experimental Haematology in Tianjin who was not involved in the study, mentioned this study was conducted on only 2,000 people, which is a far cry from the over 180,000 that are now infected globally. The figures now stand at more than 200,000 infected cases.

Yingdai also mentioned that the study also had limitations, such as not providing clear explanations about the phenomenon, like the molecular interaction and different types of red blood cells.

Although blood type differences have been observed in other infectious diseases such as hepatitis B and severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), Gao also mentions that this study  “may be helpful to medical professionals, but ordinary citizens should not take the statistics too seriously.”

“If you are type A, there is no need to panic. It does not mean you will be infected 100 per cent,” she said.

“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.”