Chinese boffins working in the epicentre of the killer coronavirus outbreak have made a breakthrough – and it's good news for many of us but bad news for others.
Academics working in Wuhan City where the deadly bug broke out have found people with Type A blood are both more likely to catch Covid-19 and to die from it.
Type O blood is more common, pumping through the veins of 34% of people.
But Type A blood is found in 32% of people and the study found this blood type was significantly more likely to catch coronavirus.
The study found 41% of current Covid-19 patients have Type A blood compared to Type O, which accounted for 25% of the patients studied.
The study tested 1,775 at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital and found the percentage of people with Type A blood was much higher than among the general public.
Also, scientists looked at the bodies of 206 people killed by the virus and found 85 had type A blood – or 41%. This was 63% more than the 52 with Type O.
This data was compared with people who who had not caught the bug
The researchers said: "Blood group O was associated with a lower risk of death compared with non-O groups. To the contrary, blood group A was associated with a higher risk of death compared with non-A groups."
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They add: "People of blood group A might need particularly strengthened personal protection to reduce the chance of infection."
The paper has been published online on medrxiv.
Why one blood type could be worse affected than another is not yet clear.
The paper adds: "Sars-CoV-2-infected patients with blood group A might need to receive more vigilant surveillance and aggressive treatment.
'It might be helpful to introduce ABO blood typing in both patients and medical personnel as a routine part of the management of Sars-CoV-2 and other coronavirus infections, to help define the management options and assess risk exposure levels of people."
Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Gao Yingdai, a researcher with the State Key Laboratory of Experimental Haematology in Tianjinsaid: "[The study] may be helpful to medical professionals, but ordinary citizens should not take the statistics too seriously.
"If you are type A, there is no need to panic. It does not mean you will be infected 100 percent.
"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."
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