People in blood group A seem more vulnerable to coronavirus, while those in blood group O are more resistant, according to a new Chinese survey.

Scientists studying the virus in its epicenter, Wuhan, and the city of Shenzhen, have found that the proportion of blood group A patients both infected and killed by the disease is “significantly” greater than that of people in the same group in the general public.

Blood group O patients, on the other hand, represented a smaller proportion of those infected and killed by the virus.

“People with blood group A may need additional personal protection to reduce the risk of infection,” wrote researchers from the Wuhan-based Center for Evidence-Based Medicine.

The team, led by a Chinese doctor, Wang Xinghuan, described the study as “preliminary”: there is still work to be done to achieve concrete results.

The research compared the blood groups of 2,173 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Wuhan and Shenzhen with those of more than 3,694 healthy residents of the Wuhan area.

While 31.16% of Wuhan residents had type A blood, 37.75% of coronavirus patients interviewed at the local Wuhan Jinyintan hospital were from the same blood group.

And on the same sample of coronavirus cases in hospital, 25.8% had blood group O, against 33.84% in the population.

The study also examined 206 patients who died from the virus, and found that 85 victims, or 41.26%, had blood group A. Only 52 of those who died, or about a quarter, had blood group O.

Scientists who did not participate in the study said that a much larger sample was needed to guide medical practice.

“If you have blood group A, there is no need to panic. This does not mean that you will be infected, “say the Chinese doctors. “If you have blood type O, that doesn’t mean you’re absolutely safe either. You still need to wash your hands and follow the authorities’ directions. ”

Source: South China Morning Post / Medrxiv