Having this blood type might put you at a higher risk for the Coronavirus

While the world grasps with the Coronavirus epidemic and scientists rush to find a vaccine to fight the infection which has killed more than 8,000 people globally, a new study claims how having a certain blood type might make you more prone to getting the Coronavirus.

Preliminary findings from China claim people with blood type A are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19. The study tested results from patients in Wuhan, the center of the global outbreak, and Shenzhen.

The study, published online by Medrxiv, compared blood types of 2,173 patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 from three Chinese hospitals in Wuhan and Shenzhen, with 3,600 healthy residents in Wuhan.

Thirty-one percent of Wuhan residents have type A blood, according to the study. Researchers said that 37% of surveyed patients had the same blood type, and when looking at 206 deaths in Wuhan, researchers determined there were 63% more type A fatalities than type O.

Patients with type O blood were less likely to get the Coronavirus and die from it, according to the study.

While type A is one of the most common blood types in the world, researchers said people should not be concerned if they have type A.

“If you are type A, there is no need to panic. It does not mean you will be infected 100 percent,” researcher Gao Yingdai told the South China Morning Post. “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.”

It remains unclear why type A patients have a higher risk of getting COVID-19. The study has not been peer-reviewed, with lead researcher Wang Xinghuan calling for more work to be done in order to strengthen its findings.

More than 205,000 people around the world have confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University, with 8,248 confirmed dead from the infection.