If You Have This Blood Type, You May Be Immune to COVID-19
Every few weeks, it seems there’s another headline linking your blood type to the coronavirus, and this week is no different. “A team of scientists conducting a genetic analysis of coronavirus patients found that having a certain blood type may impact the risk you have of developing the illness, according to a study on Wednesday,” reports Fox News. “The study, which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, compared the genes of thousands of European patients and found those with Type A blood were more likely to come down with severe illness. Those with Type O blood were less likely.”
“The research comes after a similar study out of China published in March found that those with Type O blood may be more resistant to SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19—while those with Type A blood might be more at risk,” continues the website. “‘Most of us discounted it because it was a very crude study,’ Dr. Parameswar Hari, a blood specialist at the Medical College of Wisconsin, said of the China report. Following the new study, he declared ‘now I believe it,’ adding ‘it could be very important.’”
Echoes a 23andMe Study
Their findings also echo a genetic study from 23andMe, released earlier this month. "Preliminary data from 23andMe's ongoing genetic study of COVID-19 appears to lend more evidence for the importance of a person's blood type—determined by the ABO gene—in differences in the susceptibility to the virus," the company revealed in a blog post.
According to their data, those with O blood type are between 9-18% percent less likely than individuals with other blood types to have tested positive for COVID-19.
Still, Scientists Urge Caution
“Other scientists urged caution,” reports CBS News. “The evidence of a role for blood type is ‘tentative … it isn't enough of a signal to be sure,’ said Dr. Eric Topol, head of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in San Diego. The study, involving scientists in Italy, Spain, Denmark, Germany and other countries, compared about 2,000 patients with severe COVID-19 to several thousand other people who were healthy or who had only mild or no symptoms. Researchers tied variations in six genes to the likelihood of severe disease, including some that could have a role in how vulnerable people are to the virus. They also tied blood groups to possible risk.”
“Blood type also has been tied to susceptibility to some other infectious diseases, including cholera, recurrent urinary tract infections from E. coli, and a bug called H. pylori that can cause ulcers and stomach cancer, said Dr. David Valle, director of the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins University,” continues the site. “Bottom line: ‘It's a provocative study. It's in my view well worth publishing and getting out there,’ but it needs verification in more patients, Valle said."
As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.