Does blood type matter when it comes to coronavirus? A Chinese study says yes
People with type A blood are more likely to catch coronavirus and die from it, according to a new study published in Wuhan, China.
Type A is one of the most common blood types, but scientists urged people not to be concerned if they have type A.
Those with type O blood may be less likely to get COVID-19, which has infected more than 200,000 people worldwide, according to a Johns Hopkins University map that tracks confirmed cases.
"If you are type A, there is no need to panic. It does not mean you will be infected 100 percent," researcher Gao Yingdai told the 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."
Researchers compared more than 2,100 confirmed coronavirus cases in China against more than 3,600 healthy Wuhan residents. While 31% of Wuhan residents have type A blood, more than 37% of surveyed patients had the blood type.
Around 40% of United States residents have type A blood, according to the San Diego Blood Bank. More than 45% have Type O blood, the website shows.
The same Chinese study showed 25% of surveyed cases had type O blood, despite more than 33% of the population having that type of blood.
The study examined 206 people in Wuhan who died from the virus and there were 63% more type A fatal cases than type O.
"People with blood group A might need particularly strengthened personal protection to reduce the chance of infection," researchers said in their study.
The study did not provide an explanation for why type A patients have a higher risk for coronavirus.
The American Red Cross said it is facing "a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations." The Red Cross has implemented extra safety precautions at blood drive centers.
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