Are People with Type-A Blood More Likely to Catch Coronavirus?


Are People with Type-A Blood More Likely to Catch Coronavirus?

Illustration: Aishwarya Nayak

Research into the deadly coronavirus pandemic in China has apparently thrown up some good news and some bad news — depending largely on what type of blood you have.

A study conducted in Wuhan district, where the virus first originated, claimed that people with Type-A blood were more vulnerable to the coronavirus and its symptoms, than those with other blood groups. The same study states that people with Type-O blood seem to be more resistant to coronavirus, sparking panic in some and relief in others.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Centre for Evidence-Based and Translational Medicine in China, compared blood types of 2,173 patients who had tested positive for Covid-19, and found that over 37 per cent of them had Type-A blood while only about nine per cent had Type-O blood.

While this clearly indicates that one blood group is more vulnerable, the results have also been accompanied by several calls to read between the lines. For one, the study hasn’t been peer reviewed, and for another, according to the authors’ own warnings, there could be risks involved in using it “to guide current clinical practice”. A few social media users, too, appealed to not take the study so literally.

Still, even as the study’s own authors admit that the tests are preliminary, it has still led to a fair share of paranoia and conspiracy theories.

Meanwhile, as all doctors across the world have been doing for the last few weeks, doctors in China not associated with the study, too, have appealed that everyone stop panicking over every coronavirus headline.

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

So basically, the only takeaway from this study is that the only apparent answer to the question, “Is Type A blood more susceptible to coronavirus?” is, “We’re still not sure.”