SAN ANTONIO – Research around the world is showing there could be many factors that contribute to who gets COVID-19 and whose illness becomes more severe.
One of those factors may be blood type.
It’s a conversation circulating online, not only being addressed on social media but also scientific and even government websites.
When viewers asked KSAT whether blood types are a factor in determining a person’s risk for getting COVID-19, we ran it through the KSAT Trust Index.
What started the conversation was a new report that came out last month in the New England Journal of Medicine that looked at about 1,600 patients in Italy and Spain during the COVID-19 peaks there. Some patients studied were sick, others healthy.
“They found there was some association, increased risk of respiratory failure if you have Type-A blood type. Interestingly, they also found that if you’re Type-O blood, you are less susceptible to contracting COVID 19,” said Dr. Bravein Amalakuhan, the chief of medicine at Methodist Hospital Texsan and member of private practice group Texas IPS.
Amalakuhan said those results coincide with other studies done recently in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak started and a decade ago during the SARS outbreak.
“They looked at SARS particularly with Type-O blood and a lower risk of contracting SARS back in that outbreak more than 10 years ago,” Amalakuhan said.
Though the results are intriguing, experts agree there need to be more studies with much larger populations, separated into more subgroups.
“People who are on lower levels of oxygen, maybe one or two liters, people who are on a little bit more oxygen and then those people on ventilators and then people who unfortunately passed away,” Amalakuhan said.
There’s still work to do, which is why we’re labeling this “Be Careful” on our KSAT Trust Index.
“So by no means, if you have a certain blood type, don’t feel that you’re protected. Everyone needs to stick to the basics -- wash your hands, wear a mask and social distance,” Amalakuhan said.
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