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What’s your type?: When it comes to COVID-19, your blood type might influence how sick you’ll get

“O” helps but “A” hurts.

When it comes to COVID-19, new research suggests your blood type might influence just how you sick you’ll get.

“If I can do something to help somebody else right now that’s in the hospital in need of my type of blood, I’m always glad to help,” said Anarelys Flubacher. She donated blood Friday and as it turns out, her type is more helpful than she may know.

New research published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds our blood types can impact how we’re affected by COVID-19.

If you have Type A blood, the study finds you’re 45% more likely than other blood types to get the coronavirus and a more severe case.

“Blood group A situation, specifically, you have a worse disease. And there’s a protective effect for blood group O,” said Dr. Parameswaran Hari, a professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Hari is a blood specialist at the college and says if the findings are accurate, they could help us when it comes to vaccinations.

“Blood group O people – eventually, when we get a vaccine – they may respond better to a vaccine. So maybe blood group A, B – those people need extra doses of vaccine. Maybe they need a specialized vaccine,” he said.

At one blood drive in Port Charlotte, Dr. Tyler Roberts says he’s not surprised by the connection between blood types and COVID responses.

“We definitely through research have learned that O is less susceptible, AB more susceptible,” he said.

He says our blood is vital to our overall health and in this case, it’s tied to the community’s health as well.

“If we can take anything out of what’s happening right now, everything and anything that’s happening in the world, it’s that COVID-19 has brought together the community,” Flubacher said.

The coronavirus wouldn’t be the first virus or infection to be connected to a person’s blood type. Hari says the Norwalk virus and a type of stomach bacteria are also associated with certain blood groups.

Reporter:Veronica Marshall
Writer:Briana Harvath
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