With very limited information on the COVID-19 when it began to spread, scientists have only just begun to get their bearings and present factual information.
Medical personnel who are at the forefront of the fight are also becoming better equipped to fight the virus thanks to new developments every day. The virus affects both men, women, and children and there have been reported cases of animals being infected as well.
However, there is a particular trend that has been noticed by health personnel and data analysts have confirmed from data available. It is simply that COVID 19 is a lot more harmful or deadly for men.
Now, this is a very strange phenomenon and one could almost claim that the virus is being sex-selective. So, apart from the virus discriminating by age and underlying health conditions, it also decides to give men a tough run.
The gathered data shows that about the same number of men and women have been infected by the virus, however, the difference lies in vulnerability and the mortality rate. When this pattern began to emerge, it wasn’t very noticeable. Now, it is a very mysterious occurrence that has left so many baffled and grasping at straws.
What Evidence is There to Support This Claim?
In New York City which is the epicenter of the Virus in the United States, the city’s health department reported that as of April 7, 2,232 men had died of COVID-19 as compared to 1,309 women.
Regarding hospitalization, the number of female patients stood at about 34,000 while male patients stood at over 40,000. Similarly, the death rate per 100,000 people in the city stood at less than 30 for women and 55 for men.
This indicates that men are getting the disease at a higher rate than women and the outcomes are generally worse as well.
Similarly, a recent study that was carried out in China, the origin country of the virus showed that the fatality rate for women stood at 1.7% as compared to that of men which were pegged at 2.8%. Another analysis in China showed that 60% of COVID‐19 patients were men.
In Italy, one of the worst-hit countries, analysis of the report of the country’s death roll showed that of the people who had died from the virus, 72% were men, as reported by the BBC.
Another study quotes the figure even higher, claiming that men make up 80% of people who have passed away from the virus.
This same pattern has been shown in other countries including Germany, Iran, Spain, South Korea, and France.
More specifically, the most recent data from Spain indicated that the number of men who have died from the virus is about twice that of women.
In South Korea, although women account for the higher percentage of those who have contracted the virus, men make up 54% of the reported deaths.
What is a Possible Explanation for This?
Now, medical experts have been very forthright with us. They have admitted that nobody has an accurate answer for what is causing the difference in mortality rate.
However, there have been various suggestions based on lifestyle choices that are more rampant among men.
For instance, smoking was first suggested as a likely reason for the apparent distinction. Using statistics from China, nearly 50% of men smoke as against only about 2% of women.
Therefore the underlying differences in lung health that would exist were being assumed to be the cause. It was suggested that this was the reason why men were experiencing worse symptoms and more tragic outcomes.
This hypothesis was fueled by a paper that was published in March. It found that smokers comprised 12% of those who had less severe symptoms, however, they still made up 26% of those who eventually required intensive care or died from the virus.
Similarly, smoking might also be a channel for getting infected in the first place. Smokers have a lot of business with their lips and as such touch them more often. There might also be the possibility of sharing a contaminated cigarette.
Behavioral factors that differ based on gender may also be a reason for this stark margin. Studies have shown that men are generally less hygienic and are less likely to wash their hands with soap and water.
Also, they are typically less likely to disregard public health advice and less likely to seek out healthcare personnel when they fall ill as well.
While these are generalizations, it doesn’t eliminate the fact that the risk of contracting the virus may be significantly higher for the menfolk.
While these explanations, while very much arguable, still explain this phenomenon to an extent, a lot of experts are beginning to suspect that there is more to this than meets the eye. Most of them believe that there are other fundamental biological factors in the equation.
While the male population happens to be the higher percentage of smokers in many countries – Italy where about 28% of men smoke and women smokers make up about 19%, the differences can still not be compared to China where there is an apparent extreme.
However, men remain the most represented in COVID-19 statistics.
How To Guide Against the Virus
Although it has been established that the virus poses a greater danger to men, it is still essential for both sexes to observe measures to avoid contracting the virus. Here are some of the measures that have been recommended:
Self-isolation simply implies staying home and staying safe. There is a higher chance of contracting the virus outdoors than within your own home, especially if you are not receiving guests. Therefore, staying home is your safest bet.
2. Social Distancing
If you need to go out for essentials or any other reason, staying away from people is essential to not contract the virus.
Scientists have proven that there are asymptomatic individuals which makes avoiding only people with symptoms not as effective as you might think.
Also, wearing protective gear like a face mask has been advised by the CDC to avoid breathing in the air-borne pathogen.
Observing a distance of at least 6 feet is advised.
3. Maintain Good Hygiene
This time more than ever calls for maintaining impeccable hygiene. Washing your hands with soap and water and sanitizing them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is essential as well.
Since the pathogens are known to enter into the body via openings on the face, not touching your face is one sure way to avoid contracting the virus.
Maintaining good hygiene helps you protect yourself and every other person around you.
While eating healthy may not be an explicitly stated measure to guide against the virus, it does ensure that your immune system remains in a great state, easy to fight any foreign bodies.
Although there is no cure for the disease, people with strong immune systems typically stand a greater chance of beating it if infected.
Seeing that men are more vulnerable, it is essential to boost your immune system with essential boosters like multivitamins for men as well as fruits and vegetables.
In conclusion, staying updated on new developments every day is vital. Stay informed!
As a reminder, we ask you to consult with a physician about COVID-19 virus for proper medical guidelines. We are also referring you to the official CDC website for accurate information. For any additional details, please see the FTC’s guidance around Coronavirus claims.