The Latest: Your blood type and the coronavirus

Alexandra Sifferlin
Medium Coronavirus Blog
3 min readJun 19, 2020


Dear Reader,

There’s some early but interesting data looking at how a person’s blood type might impact their susceptibility to getting a coronavirus infection. A recent study that compared the genes of thousands of people in Europe found that those who had Type A blood were more likely to have severe disease while those with Type O were less likely.

The implications remain unknown, and more research is needed. But it adds to growing interest in what role blood and its associates might play in the pandemic. For example, there’s a growing consensus that Covid-19 might be a blood vessel disease, which might explain some of its bizarre symptoms. Plasma from blood is also being studied as a possible therapeutic.

We will continue to keep you posted on the evolving science of Covid-19 and the human body.

Here’s what else is new:

  • Arizona and Texas will allow some local governments to require masks: The two states reversed course after mayors from several cities asked for the authority to require mask wearing. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has also ordered people to wear face masks in most indoor — and some outdoor — areas.
  • A federal judge is ordering Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to give Native American tribes their relief funds: The Trump Administration must distribute $679 million in emergency relief that the tribes should have received months ago. (Read more.)
  • Britain reduces its Covid-19 warning level: As The New York Times reports, the country reduced its alert level from four to three on Friday. At Level 3, the virus is considered to remain “in general circulation,” but the easing of social-distancing measures can begin.
  • Iceland is experiencing a return to normalcy: As CNN reports, the country successfully quashed Covid-19 and now life in the country feels “normal,” with restaurants and bars full. You can read about what it’s like here.

Follow our Medium Coronavirus Blog for regular updates, and read some of the essential stories we’ve curated below.

Be well,

Alexandra Sifferlin

Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog

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A quick Q&A

Why are scientists still studying hydroxychloroquine?

Study after study suggests that hydroxychloroquine is not the Covid-19 game-changer that many had hoped it would be. Most research has found little benefit and some safety concerns. So why don’t researchers call it quits and move on to other options?

While the data on the drug is not promising right now, experts say that the clinical trials in place are answering the questions that scientists are asking: Is hydroxychloroquine safe, and is it effective? The answer might be no and no, but researchers need to confirm. While it’s unlikely new studies on the drug will be launched, the ongoing trials may continue. Even so, study leaders and research experts have a responsibility to review new findings as they are released and share insights with people participating.

Read the full story here.

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Recent Protests Don’t Seem to Be Causing Outbreaks

Ground Rules for Your Socially Distanced Get-Together

A Reality Check on the Coronavirus Vaccine

Smart reads

A Llama Could Save Us From the Coronavirus

We Had Every Reason to be Prepared for This Pandemic

Resist the Unraveling of Hope

A Mad Scramble to Stock Millions of Malaria Pills, Likely for Nothing (New York Times)



Alexandra Sifferlin
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Health and science journalist. Former editor of Medium’s Covid-19 Blog and deputy editor at Elemental. TIME Magazine writer before that