When it comes to the new coronavirus COVID-19, some things are different than previous viruses, such as SARS and MERS. This virus can be present and spread for two weeks before a person shows symptoms, and when it comes to fatalities, children have been largely spared.
But in one respect, it’s just the same. Many more men die from the disease than women.
So far, 1.7% of the women who have contracted COVID-19 have died, while 2.8% of men with the disease have perished, a 64% increase.
According to Janine Clayton, director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at NIH:
“There’s something about the immune system in females that is more exuberant.”
Researchers think it might have something to do with higher levels of estrogen, which contribute to immunity, or the fact that women have two X chromosomes, which carry immune-related genes.
Along with natural physiology, there are also choices people make that can lead to different health outcomes. In China, 50% of men smoke, but only 2% of women. Previous lung damage can make people more susceptible to COVID-19.
Akiko Iwasaki, a professor of immunology at Yale University, thinks part of it comes down to attitude, which informs behavior. He noted that men may have a “false sense of security” about coronavirus and similar diseases, which would lead them to treat the situation less seriously than wom