COVID-19 Update: Can This Blood Type Be Spared From The Virus?

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Financial Times recently reported an on-going study that provided results, suggesting that patients with this particular blood type may be more immune to COVID-19. 

The study has been on-going since April, not long after the worldwide pandemic started. The genetic testing company 23andMe started getting testing service providers to assist scientists so they can better comprehend how genetics may play a role as to why patients who acquire COVID-19 develop more severe infections than others. 

The other group only contracts very mild symptoms or not showing any symptoms at all. 

On Monday, 23andMe showed results from more than 750,000 participants. The results showed that blood types determined by a patient’s ABO gene may affect the infection rate. 

They issued a statement saying, “Preliminary data from 23andMe’s on-going genetic study of COVID-19 appears to lend more evidence for the importance of a person’s blood type… in differences in the susceptibility to the virus.”

It is the Type O blood that may offer more protection against the virus. More evidence from the study revealed that patients with this blood type are about nine to 18 percent less likely to be positive from the virus, compared with patients in different blood types. 

The researchers added how the study had been adjusted according to the person’s age, sex, ethnicity, body mass index, and co-morbidities. They said there are tiny differences in susceptibility among those with other blood types.

Lead researcher of the study, Adam Auton, compounded, “There have also been some reports of links between COVID-19, blood clotting, and cardiovascular disease. These reports provided some hints about which genes might be relevant.”

He further explained, “It’s early days; even with these sample sizes, it might not be enough to find genetic associations. We’re not the only group looking at this, and ultimately the scientific community may need to pool their resources to really address questions surrounding the links between genetics and COVID-19.”

With the accuracy of the study being questioned, the report said these results are in line with those from other studies that also researched on how the person’s blood type may be relevant to their susceptibility with the virus. 

One of these is a study in China published in March, showing that those with blood type O may have more defense against the SARS-CoV-2, while those with blood type A are more at risk.

As of press time, there are now seven million confirmed cases worldwide, with more than 400,000 patients who died. In the United States, the figures for confirmed cases have reached two million, with 540,000 recoveries and 114,000 deaths.

In India, 265,000 people have been infected, with 7,000 deaths and about 129,000 who recovered. In Thailand, there are 3,000 confirmed cases, 2,900 recoveries, and around 50 deaths. Meanwhile, there are now almost 40,000 confirmed cases in the United Arab Emirates, 22,000 recoveries, and approximately 280 deaths. Measures on lockdown and quarantine are continuous across the globe.

READ ALSO: [COVID-19 Update] Wearable Device Generates Coronavirus ‘Security Bubble’ to Promote Social Distancing

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