Tuesday 11 August, 2020

Connection found between blood type and COVID-19

Do you know your blood type?

Unfortunately, it’s not information I have readily stored at the forefront of my mind. I might not be the only one. I’ve asked five friends and so far none of them seems to be able to retrieve this information either. With recent studies pointing to links between blood type and the risk of coronavirus, now might be a good time to know your blood type and keep the knowledge handy.

According to a Yahoo article, a study done on June 17 and published in the New England Journal of Medicine focused on potential genetic factors in severe cases of COVID 19 with respiratory failure. The study involved nearly 2,000 patients with COVID-19 at seven hospitals located in Spain and Italy. Researchers observed that type O blood was associated with slightly more protection from the virus, while those with type A blood may be more vulnerable to the disease.

According to the study’s authors: “Our genetic data confirm that blood group O is associated with a risk of acquiring COVID-19 that was lower than that in non-O blood groups, whereas blood group A was associated with a higher risk than non-A blood groups.”

This is not the first study to explore and find links between blood types and the risk of COVID-19. According to Yahoo, another study conducted by Chinese researchers in March found that “blood group A was associated with a higher risk for acquiring COVID-19 compared with non-A blood groups, whereas blood group O was associated with a lower risk for the infection compared with non-O blood groups,” according to the study’s authors.

Having up-to-date health information is vital to combating infectious diseases and at times can provide peace of mind. As new information is being gathered about a virus that has proven to be deadly worldwide, it is important to note that this does not mean that persons with blood type O need to worry less than others.

Dean Winslow MD, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care explain: “This doesn’t mean that people with type O blood should be less worried about the coronavirus in general.”

One of the study’s authors pointed out to NBC News that although the study points a risk reduction, it does not mean protection. He emphasizes the fact that many people who have died from COVID 19 had blood type O.

It remains important to be steadfast and vigilant in adhering to social distancing rules and wearing masks and other PPE, regardless of blood type.

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