The Week That Wasn't in COVID-19: Centenarian Survives, High-Risk Blood Types

Donavyn Coffey and Ivan Oransky

March 20, 2020

This week the internet was inundated with coronavirus stories. Among many others, headlines cheered for a centenarian who survived the disease, and warned that COVID-19 might be a bigger problem for those with blood type A. Here's why you didn't see those stories on Medscape.

A 103-Year-Old Survives Coronavirus

It's always good news when anyone survives an infection with coronavirus. So when we saw a report that "A 103-year-old woman in Iran has recovered after being infected with the new coronavirus, state media reported, despite overwhelming evidence the elderly are most at risk from the disease," we cheered. But outliers always exist, and a whole story devoted to a single case like this didn't seem worth the limited time our readers have at the moment. Still, long live this survivor and others!

Blood Type A Linked to Higher Risk?

A new study of more than 2000 patients found that those with blood type A are more susceptible to COVID-19. The preliminary study, conducted by researchers at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, compared the blood type of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 with that of healthy people from the same region. The authors suggest that ABO blood typing could be useful in disease and risk management.;

The study, however, was published on a preprint server, medRxiv , where, as Medscape readers know, researchers publish early versions of a manuscript before they are peer-reviewed. Rapidly disseminating information is critical as COVID-19 continues to spread, but so is careful vetting. Because we didn't have the resources to do that this week, given, well, COVID-19 coverage, we skipped on this one. We're also not sure whether the findings would have any effect on testing for COVID-19 or on treating it.

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