Recent research, including studies conducted in Denmark and Canada, has found that people with type O blood may have a slight advantage over those with other blood types when it comes to the risk of infection or hospitalization from COVID-19. Additionally, these studies also revealed that individuals with type O blood had a slightly lower risk for getting severely ill or dying from COVID-19 if they did become infected.
While people with type O blood, which is the most common kind, may have a slight advantage over their peers when it comes to risk for a coronavirus infection and hospitalization or death from COVID-19, this doesn’t mean that they can't contract the virus or fall seriously ill from it.
If you’re curious about your blood type, it’s easy to discover, and you can do it without having to go to the doctor’s office. Barnes explained how convenient it is – and revealed his own blood type – on this week’s episode.
As Barnes mentioned, a quick Amazon search can point you in the direction of an at-home self-test to learn your blood type. All you need to do is prick your finger with a lancet and put drops of your blood on a special card. After putting the blood on the card, you can observe the areas where blood clumps or spreads out, and then match those reactions to an included guide.
Another way to find out your blood type (and help out your community) is to donate blood. Many donation centers are able to provide that information, so ask the staff when you donate. Unlike self-tests, you won’t get your blood type immediately and may have to wait a few weeks, as blood isn’t commonly tested right away.
If you do discover that you have type O blood, you’re not completely out of the woods. You still need to protect yourself from the spread of COVID. "I would never tell someone who is type O that they don't have to wear a mask, or they don't have to do social distancing, or they don't have to wash their hands frequently,” says Roy Silverstein, M.D., professor and chair of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin Division of Hematology and Oncology. “They are at risk for COVID, just a little bit lower than type A.… That doesn't mean that [type] O is zero risk.” He adds, "If you're type A blood, you might be at a slightly higher risk than if you're type O. But that doesn't mean you should be more careful; everybody needs to be more careful. And that the worst thing that can happen is that people let their guard down.”