Covid infection more likely depending on your blood type, experts warn

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Covid-19 infections continue to rise in the UK, despite the government’s plans to live with the disease.

The number of people in hospital in England who have tested positive for Covid-19 climbed above 10,000 for the first time since April, reaching 10,658 on July 4, up 36% week-on-week.

An estimated 2.3 million across the UK tested positive for Covid-19 in the week ending 24 June, recording a sharp 32% rise from a week earlier.

With a stark rise in infections many may be worried about their risk of catching the virus whether for the first time or again.

Turns out your risk may be significantly lowered depending on the type of blood you have, says research.

Covid infection more likely depending on your blood type, experts warn
The link between blood types and a Covid infection

Blood types and susceptibility to a Covid-19 infection was first hypothesised by researchers in China back in March 2020.

These ideas were further echoed by a paper out of Columbia University a month later.

Interestingly, DNA testing company 23andMe further bolstered this theory when it was able to link customers and Covid infections among 750,000 people who were diagnosed and hospitalised for Covid-19 – and those with type O blood types were better protected.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine confirmed the idea and found those with blood type A had a 45% increased risk of being infected with Covid than those with other blood types.

Again, the findings concluded that blood type O was 35% less likely to be infected.

Researchers and scientists are now confirming that your blood type can have a significant impact on the likelihood of catching Covid, with type A being more susceptible and type O having a lesser risk.

Dr Xand van Tullekan from Healthcheck UK Live said: “There is some truth in it, or at least there is some data to support it.

“There was a study in Wuhan that said that blood type A was more susceptible, and that’s our most common blood type in the UK.

“But whatever blood type you are, your behaviour is the same. Stay at home, and don’t go outside unless it is for proper exercise, or essential activities.”

Signs of a Covid infection
Signs of a Covid infection

Just because you’re type O doesn’t mean you’re in the clear, however.

All studies so far have only looked at blood type in connection to symptomatic cases of coronavirus, experts warn.

People with type O blood might be slightly more protected from the virus, and people with type A slightly more vulnerable, but an infection still means the same rules apply.

There are things you can do to reduce the spread of infection if you have symptoms, have tested positive, or are a close contact.

“If you aren’t eligible for testing and you have symptoms of a respiratory infection such as coronavirus and have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, stay at home and avoid contact with other people,” says the NHS.

The national health body added: “Do this until you no longer have a high temperature (if you had one) or until you feel better.

“If you have a positive coronavirus test result, stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days after the day you took your test, or from the day your symptoms started (whichever was earlier).

“You should count the day after you took the test as day one.”