Hallberg: Study linking blood type and COVID-19 severity raising 'unnecessary' concern

A person wearing personal protective equipment stands at a car window
Nurse Amanda Hitchings uses a swab to take a sample for COVID-19 testing at the curbside collection facility on May 6, 2020, at St. Cloud Hospital.
MBR/Dave Schwarz | St. Cloud Times file

Dr. Jon Hallberg says “the single-most pressing question” he’s been getting from patients in recent weeks is what their blood type is. That’s because a small study by Spanish researchers found having type A blood was associated with more severe COVID-19 symptoms.

“This is association not causation,” said Hallberg, medical director of the University of Minnesota Physicians Mill City Clinic. “It isn’t a particularly great study, and it’s raised a lot of concern, perhaps unnecessarily.”

Nonetheless, Hallberg said the best way to find out your blood type is by donated blood. He said doctors don’t check blood type with routine labs and often won’t have it on file.

Hallberg also spoke with MPR News host Tom Crann about his own run-in with COVID-19 and how the nasal test is getting easier to administer and less painful.

Click play on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.

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