Dr Christoph Spinner of the Rechts der Isar Hospital in Munich touched on the issue of blood groups in a recent discussion on COVID-19. In an interview with German magazine Focus, he discussed research which explores the influence a person’s blood type is likely to have on their condition if they contract the disease.
He was asked if people with the blood group 0 are immune to COVID-19.
He explained how he and his team had noticed early on in the pandemic how people with certain blood types were affected differently.
He said some patients who did not have any underlying health conditions and were not in the high-risk age brackets suffered very badly with the virus.
Dr Spinner said: “At the beginning we simply didn’t understand it.
“Now there are first genetic studies, which attempted to find out how differences among affected people could have contributed to whether the course of the disease is severe or less severe.”
He drew upon an early study which indicated that those with the 0 blood group were “significantly less often affected severely than those with the blood group A”.
However, he cautioned against any generalisation on people with the same group.
He said it was simply too early to say “whether this is causative or a coincidence”.
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Dr Spinner’s interview comes as a new study showed people with certain blood types carry a higher risk of dying from coronavirus.
Researchers at Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel in Germany made the breakthrough discovery.
But the team said they remain unsure why blood types played such an important role in how badly patients are affected.
Their study found that a person with type A blood is 50 percent more likely to develop severe symptoms if they contract the novel coronavirus.
They are also more likely to require a ventilator or oxygen.
Meanwhile Germany is to buy a stake in CureVac as the world races to get a vaccine for coronavirus.
The Berlin Government will take a stake in unlisted biotech firm CureVac, which is working on a COVID-19 vaccine, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Monday.
It will acquire a 23 percent stake for €300 million, according to Altmaier, in a deal that values the company at €1.3 billion.
The move followed reported attempts by the US Government to acquire CureVac or its assets in March, which stirred a backlash in Berlin, with Altmaier and the interior minister voicing support for keeping CureVac German.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.