A new preliminary study from China reveals that your blood type may determine how vulnerable you are to coronavirus.
Researchers studying COVID-19 in its outbreak epicenter of Wuhan and Shenzhen believe that people with blood type A might be more susceptible to the virus while those with type O blood could be more resistant.
“People of blood group A might need particularly strengthened personal protection to reduce the chance of infection,” the researchers at Centre for Evidence-Based and Translational Medicine based out of Wuhan wrote.
The research, which has been published on Medrxiv.org, compared over 2,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in China against more than 3,500 healthy residents. It found that a majority, more than 37% of the patients, at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital had type A blood.
The study examined 206 people in Wuhan who died from the virus and found that there were 63 percent more type A fatal cases than type O.
No explanation was offered as to why type A patients might be at higher risk for infection.
The team underlined that the study needed more work in order to corroborate the initial findings.
Scientists independent of the study told the South China Morning Post that a larger sample would be required to prove the findings and make them more reliable.
Despite the findings, they encouraged people of all blood types to exert caution.
“If you are type A, there is no need to panic. It does not mean you will be infected 100 percent,” Gao Yingdai, a researcher in the city of Tianjin, told the outlet. “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.”