On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

cloudy-day
67°
Partly Cloudy
H 88° L 74°
  • cloudy-day
    67°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 88° L 74°
  • cloudy-day
    83°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 88° L 74°
  • cloudy-day
    83°
    Evening
    Mostly Cloudy. H 88° L 74°
Listen
Pause
Error

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National
Coronavirus fact check: Does your blood type make it more likely you will get COVID-19?
Close

Coronavirus fact check: Does your blood type make it more likely you will get COVID-19?

Does your blood type make you more susceptible to getting coronavirus?

Coronavirus fact check: Does your blood type make it more likely you will get COVID-19?

A research report by scientists in China suggesting that people with certain blood types may be more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus has been shared on social media and reported by media outlets in the past weeks, causing some to wonder if they are more likely to get the virus because of their genetics.

The study looked at more than 2,000 patients in China who tested positive for COVID-19. The study involved patients from three hospitals in Wuhan and Shenzhen, China, the area of the country where it is believed the virus was first transmitted to humans.

According to the research, people with type A blood appear to be more at risk than those with other blood types.

What the research said

The study looked at the blood types of 2,173 patients from three hospitals and compared those blood types to the blood types of a group of 3,694 people who are representative of the general population of Wuhan.

What they found was that the percentage of people hospitalized with COVID-19 who had blood type A was significantly higher than it was among the general population.

The study also showed that the proportion of people with blood type O who were hospitalized with the virus was significantly lower than the people with blood type O among the general population.

According to the research, 32.16% of the population researchers studied in Wuhan has blood type A, while 33.84% have blood type O.

Of those hospitalized for COVID-19, 37.75% had blood type A, while 25.8% had blood type O. Of the 206 patients in the study who died, 85 had blood type A or about 41% of all deaths, the study showed.

What others say about the research 

The study was posted on medRxiv, which is an online archive for researchers to post studies they have conducted but that have not been reviewed by their peers.

When scientific research is completed, it is offered for review by other scientists who look for any errors in the work or flaws in the methods used to conduct the research. The study from Wuhan is currently a “preprint,” meaning it is posted online for review, but has not been vetted by peers or published in a medical journal.

Dr. Sakthivel Vaiyapuri, an associate professor at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom who has read the study, told PolitiFact that he would not give much weight to the study because it had not been peer-reviewed.

“It’s better to safely ignore any article that hasn’t been properly scrutinized by peer review and published in a rigorous scientific journal,” Vaiyapuri said.

Vaiyapuri said the size of the study, and the fact that the research seemed to show no blood type effect for patients in one of the three hospitals used in the study, would lead him to dismiss the conclusions.

“They also haven’t considered several other parameters which might have changed the conclusion completely,” he said. “Moreover, they did not see any effect in one hospital that they analyzed. So this study is too speculative, and data are not robust to make any firm conclusions. People should not panic based on the outcomes of this study.”

Speaking to South China Morning Post, Gao Yingdai, a researcher with the State Key Laboratory of Experimental Hematology in Tianjin, said that the study may be of use to medical researchers, but the public should not be panicked by the findings.

“If you are type A, there is no need to panic. It does not mean you will be infected 100 percent,” Gao 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.”

Dr. William Petri of the University of Virginia did not discount the findings, but like other researchers, suggested that more testing is needed.

“The work is very preliminary, but it is biologically plausible that different blood groups might vary in their susceptibility to COVID-19,” Petri told Forbes.

Viruses bind to different sugars on the surface of cells, according to Patricia L. Foster, professor emerita of biology at Indiana University. The types of sugars on cells are determined by a person’s genetic makeup including their blood type.

Foster explained in The Conversation how a person’s blood type is determined by genes which, in turn, determine the kind of molecules that are present on the surface of a person’s red blood cells.

Research into the Norovirus, a virus that causes severe vomiting and diarrhea, has shown that people with blood type B are less likely to be infected by the virus because of the sugars present on the cells of a person with that blood type.

Petri went on to explain that “If you are blood group A, you have an extra sugar on the surface of your cells called anacitosal glucosamine, which you don’t have if you are blood group O.”

Such differences in sugars on the surface of cells can account for people with a certain blood type being more likely to be infected by a certain virus.

“The concept that individuals with different ABO blood groups would differ in their susceptibility or resistance to viral and bacterial infections and diseases has been explored since the early 1900s,” Dr. Kirsten Hokeness, of Bryant University, told Forbes.

“A lot of this work has been done in malaria but there have been a number of other bacteria and viruses that have been studied as well, including hepatitis and Norovirus."

Should you worry more about COVID-19 if you have type A blood?

“If you are blood group A you shouldn’t be more scared,” Petri said, “The study shows very small changes in susceptibility. It goes from 31% of people who reportedly didn’t have COVID-19 versus 38% who did. So it’s tiny changes and it hasn’t been replicated and the study has not yet been peer-reviewed.

“So while it’s interesting and it kind of makes sense biologically, it might not be true. Regardless, if it is true, it probably does not have a huge impact on overall susceptibility.”

Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • A Florida man is facing allegations that he intentionally coughed on a store employee and said social distancing is “getting out of hand,” according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. Christopher Canfora, 49, of DeBary, was arrested just before 3 p.m. at his home and taken to Volusia County Jail. He is being charged with assault with intent to commit a felony and is being held on $5,000 bond. Deputies responded to the Harbor Freight Tools store on Enterprise Road in Orange County. The employee said Canfora allegedly approached her at the cash register just after 9 a.m. and commented on the social distancing measure the store was taking. Tape markers were on the store to ensure customers stayed six feet apart. The employee told deputies that Canfora said “this is all getting out of hand” and intentionally coughed on her and the register. He then told her he does the same thing to people wearing masks when he sees them, and planned on going to Winn-Dixie and doing the same thing there, deputies said. Deputies said they were able to identify Canfora through a customer rewards system in the store’s database, according to the arrest affidavit. When they arrived at Canfora’s home, he denied coughing on anyone and told them he did not have any symptoms associated with COVID-19, deputies said. Canfora also told deputies that he didn’t expect anyone to understand his sense of humor, and that he couldn’t remember exactly what he said at Harbor Freight, authorities said.
  • More than 1.4 million people worldwide -- including nearly 400,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals brace for unprecedented patient surges. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Wednesday, April 8, continue below:      2nd US coronavirus vaccine trial administers first dose Update 1:40 a.m. EDT April 8: The first dose of a second experimental novel coronavirus vaccine was administered this week to a subject at the University of Pennsylvania. Biotechnology firm Inovio began its Phase 1 clinical trial with the first dose delivered Monday and the trial expected to enroll as many as 40 healthy adult volunteers in Philadelphia and Kansas City, Missouri, according to a news release.  Dr. Pablo Tebas, an infectious disease specialist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the study’s principal investigator, said in the release his team anticipates “rapid enrollment” in the early-stage trial, expected to continue through late summer.  “There has been tremendous interest in this vaccine among people who want to do what they can do to help protect the greater public from this pandemic as soon as possible,” Tebas said in the release.  Meanwhile, biotechnology firm Moderna launched its Phase 1 coronavirus vaccine testing in March. US coronavirus deaths hit 12,895, total cases near 400K Published 12:28 a.m. EDT April 8: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 398,000 early Wednesday morning across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 398,809 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 12,895 deaths. U.S. cases now nearly triple the 141,942 reported in Spain and the 135,586 confirmed in Italy. Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 5,489 – or roughly 43 percent of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 1,232 in New Jersey and 845 in Michigan.  In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest hit with at least 139,876 confirmed cases – more than three times the next-closest state – followed by New Jersey with 44,416 and Michigan with 18,970. Six other states have now confirmed at least 13,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 17,585, including 450 deaths • Louisiana: 16,284, including 582 deaths • Massachusetts: 15,202, including 356 deaths • Florida: 13,629, including 250 deaths • Pennsylvania: 14,956, including 296 deaths • Illinois: 13,553, including 380 deaths Meanwhile, Texas and Georgia each has confirmed at least 9,000 novel coronavirus infections, followed closely by Washington state with 8,696 cases and Connecticut with 7,781 cases; Indiana and Colorado each has confirmed at least 5,000 cases; Ohio, Maryland and Tennessee each has confirmed at least 4,000 cases; Virginia, North Carolina and Missouri each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases; and Arizona, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Alabama and Nevada each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown.
  • Plenty of people across the state have been dealing with issues trying sign up for Florida’s reemployment process, but now CareerSource Northeast Florida has a solution that can help. Eight career center locations in Jacksonville and the surrounding counties are now providing paper applications with pre-addressed envelopes so you won’t have to deal with the website crashing or waiting on hold. The applications will be sent directly to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “The applications are available for anybody who doesn’t have the ability to print out the paper application from the online site at the state of Florida,” says Candace Moody with CareerSource. She says it’s unclear how many people are going to need the paper applications, so they’ve printed out 10,000 to get started. “It’s important to note that the applications are available outside from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day,” Moody says. After that, they’ll bring the applications inside until the next day, she says. You can go to the following locations to pick up the paper applications: Duval County Downtown: 215 N. Market Street Jacksonville, FL 32202 Gateway: 5000 Norwood Avenue, Suite 2 Jacksonville, FL 32208 Southside: 11160 Beach Blvd., Ste. 111 Jacksonville, FL 32246 Baker County 1184 South 6th Street Macclenny, FL 32063 Clay County 1845 Town Center Blvd., Suite 150 Fleming Island, FL 32003 Nassau County 96042 Lofton Square Court Yulee, FL 32097 Putnam County 400 Highway 19 North, Ste. 53 Palatka, FL 32177 St. Johns County 525 State Road 16, Suite 109 St. Augustine, FL 32084
  • The doors of Jacksonville’s Museum of Science and History were locked Tuesday. MOSH is shut down during the pandemic.  Local mom Lauren Lynch told Action News Jax it’s one of many changes she’s noticed because of coronavirus.  She added that keeping kids entertained is hard while stuck at home.  Lynch said, “That’s tough because she asks about the park everyday. My son, I want him to get out and start walking, and be outside.  In response to COVID-19, MOSH made their content available in all local homes.  MOSH Connect, the museum’s new program, has educational experiments, video demonstrations and downloadable activity sheets.  All of the content is online and free.  One of the posted activities is a catapult built with Popsicle sticks, rubber bands and a plastic fork.  The lesson is designed to demonstrate Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion.  Lynch said she’ll be exploring MOSH Connect with her kids.  She explained it’s an option to keep her kids occupied and safe inside.
  • Less than a week after Publix announced two associates at two separate Jacksonville stores tested positive for coronavirus, Publix is confirming to our partner Action News Jax that another employee has now tested positive. Publix says this employee works at the store on Front Street in Ponte Vedra Beach. This individual will be under quarantine for 14 days as will any associates who have been in close contact with them.  Publix issues statement confirming Ponte Vedra Beach employee tests positive for coronavirus: “As an essential service provider, the health and well-being of our customers, associates and communities are our top priority.  We are proud of how our dedicated associates are taking care of our customers and each other through this unprecedented and challenging time. And, we thank our customers for continuing to trust us with providing them with the goods and services they need.  Like other essential service providers, we have seen our own associates and their families personally impacted by COVID-19. Unfortunately, as public health officials have indicated, we expect to see an increase in cases as the virus spreads in our communities.  We can confirm that we have an associate who works at store #1437, 220 Front Street, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL., has tested positive for COVID-19.  The testing and reporting of cases by health departments varies widely state-by-state. As a result, we cannot fully and accurately report cases in real time, but we have been, and will continue to be, keenly focused on intensive, ongoing protective measures in all our stores. Those efforts are conducted with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local and state health departments and include:  • A heightened ongoing disinfection program focusing on high-touch surfaces like touch pads, door and drawer handles, phones and computers.  • Continued cleaning and sanitization of stores.  • Quarantine and paid leave for 14 days for any associate who tests positive for COVID-19 to recover from the illness.  • Notification, quarantine and paid leave for up to 14 days for associates who have been in close contact with the associate who tests positive for COVID-19.  • The installation of plexiglass shields at registers, customer service desks and pharmacies in all stores.  • In-store signage and public address announcements reminding customers and associates of social distancing.  • Visual reminders of appropriate six-foot spacing via marked lines at registers.  • Adjusted store hours to allow more time to conduct additional disinfection measures and restock shelves.”

The Latest News Videos