Your blood type can influence whether you get sick

Your risk of contracting norovirus — that scourge of cruise vacations — depends both on the strain of the virus and what your blood type is.

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  1. THIS is the kind of cool shit that I come to BB for. It never even occurred to me to think about why we have different blood types.

  2. I'm pretty sure my incurable pessimism is linked to my blood type: B negative.

  3. True, for your first transfusion - and if you've never been pregnant - but once your body has been exposed to those antigens from a transfusion or from your fetus, they are definitely an issue for blood transfusion. I've spent many nights awake trying to find a couple of units for a patient who is multiparous or has been multiply transfused.

    At that hospital, the most difficult cases were people with sickle-cell anemia. Since some of them needed regular transfusions from childhood on to reduce sickling, they had antibodies to just about everything. The central blood bank would pre-test units and screen out all those with known problem antigens, which helped, but even so, some units would not crossmatch with the patient's blood.

    (That article was a good primer article for blood groups. I kept thinking it was too simple, but sometimes it's better to be short than TL;DR.)

  4. If you can't remember which blood type you have, you're long overdue for a visit to the blood bank to donate. They'll give you a card that has your type on it. And you get cookies!

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