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Fact Check: Coronavirus does not affect people with ‘O+’ blood type is misleading

  • By Vishvas News
  • Updated: June 15, 2020

A viral post on social media claims that coronavirus does not affect people with ‘O+’ blood type. Vishvas News spotted the post first on Facebook. We found it on a page Namma Vadaloor with 2,189 followers. Several posts in Whats app and Helo app have also made the claim. Vishvas news investigation revealed the claim is misleading.

CLAIM

A post on social media claims that coronavirus does not affect people with ‘O+’ blood type.  An access to the archived post is provided here.

INVESTIGATION

On investigation, we found that the claim has come on the basis of a research article published by an US based company 23andMe in California. The research article mentions that preliminary investigations have lend more evidence for the importance of a person’s blood type — determined by the ABO gene — in differences in the susceptibility to the virus.

The research conducted with over 7,50,000 participants states, “The preliminary data suggest that O blood type appears to be protective against the virus when compared to all other blood types. Individuals with O blood type are between 9-18 per cent less likely than individuals with other blood types to have tested positive for Covid-19”.

Even among people with high chances of exposure to Covid-19, like healthcare workers, those with O blood types were 13 to 26 per cent less likely to test positive, according to the research.

Another preprint study published in March 2020 has also compared the ABO blood group distribution in 2,173 patients with COVID-19 from three hospitals in Wuhan and Shenzhen, China. The study states, “The results showed that blood group A was associated with a higher risk for acquiring COVID-19 compared with non-A blood groups, whereas blood group O was associated with a lower risk for the infection compared with non-O blood groups.”

The researches have no where mentioned that O blood type people do not get coronavirus. However both the studies have concluded with a statement that the researches are in the early stages with limitations.

When we connected to Dr S Krishnan, Secretary, Indian Medical Association, Chennai NAAM Branch, he clarified that there is no specific statement that says ‘O’ blood type is not susceptible.
“Nobody is immune to coronavirus in any way.  A recent research says ‘O’ blood type may be relatively less susceptible compared to A blood type,” said Dr Krishnan.

He further explained that most of the researches are prematured with a limited database. “Fundamentally, the basis on which the research is being conducted is itself on a small population and is all reconstructive. We cannot confidently say that the results are absolutely correct,” he added.

Dr Ravi K, Medicine department in Bangalore Medical College, who is one of core members in handling Covid-19 patients at Victoria Hospital in Karnataka have also verified the claim is not true.

When Vishvas news contacted Dr Nivedita Gupta, Scientist ‘F’, Division of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases (ECD), Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi she said that ICMR has not done any study on this to comment.

Conclusion: The post claiming coronavirus does not affect people with ‘O+’ blood type is misleading.

  • Claim Review : Coronavirus does not affect people with ‘O+’ blood type
  • Claimed By : Namma Vadaloor
  • Fact Check : Misleading
Misleading
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