Chinese scientists have found out which blood type is the most susceptible to coronavirus?

Fact checking

Lana Jovanović
Media headline
UNICEF Montenegro
09 April 2020

Several media outlets have reported that Chinese scientists have found that people with blood type A are most susceptible to coronavirus infection, while those with blood type 0 were the most resistant. These findings, as reported, are a result of a study by a group of Chinese scientists published on the MedRxiv website.

Similar to most of the information about this very dangerous virus published in the media and on social networks, which refer to no credible sources, this has led many to consider whether it was true or false.

The investigation identified several media outlets that had published that information, such as: Kodex, Alo, Informer, Kurir, Telegraf, Mondo, Novosti.rs, Srbija danas, Nezavisne Novine, Espresso.rs, Nationalgeographic.rs.

For the most part, these media outlets published literally the same information, and their source was the MedRxiv website.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/about-medrxiv

The articles read that MedRxiv is a service for publishing preliminary scientific reports in medicine, before being reviewed by experts in the field. The "About Us" section of the website reads that the research posted there should not be published in the media as reliable sources of information or as a guide to medical staff for their further work.

By checking the posts on this website, we learned that the analysis was ongoing and that the results were not yet final. There is a major difference between an ongoing and concluded process, because the result of the research may be the opposite, that is, scientists may conclude that blood groups do not have any impact on who will be more susceptible to the coronavirus.

We also used a statement by Dr. Nela Erakovic from the Podgorica Blood Transfusion Institute, who said in the morning programme of TV Vijesti that there was no information yet on which blood type was most susceptible to the virus.

"For now, the World Health Organization is of the opinion that this virus is not transmitted by blood. There are some studies on this topic, first of all, statistics of patients in Wuhan. That percentage of patients demonstrates which blood type is most represented. The blood group A is the most represented in their population, and it is therefore logical that most patients have that blood group... Considering the previous viruses and their association with blood groups, this had no significant effect, so I don't expect this to have any either. Probably in a year, when a vaccine is available, we will also have data on which blood group was most affected," Erakovic said.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLPkKaLk_Hk

As a result of this research, we conclude that information about the influence of blood groups on susceptibility to the virus is not true, but that research is ongoing, and that such information, with a strict position, can only be published after the decision of the scientist, at the end of the research.

 

In an effort to contribute to preventing the dissemination of coronavirus misinformation and to promoting credible sources of information, UNICEF's young reporters have decided to check the accuracy of information published on social media and in the media that have attracted public attention. In verifying the accuracy of information, they have followed the example of the Public Disclosure Platform and partly used its publicly available methodology.