Men are more likely to die from coronavirus than women, scientists say

Darren Richman
Monday 09 March 2020 16:00
news
(PA)

Men have had a pretty good run of luck for the last few thousand years, given the patriarchal system of world domination that they've presided over.

But apparently that might be about to change with the news that women and children are less likely to die from coronavirus.

The findings

A Chinese study found that 2.4 per cent of 44,672 people infected with the coronavirus had died. That’s pretty low but obviously higher than the ideal figure of 0 per cent. The amount of men and women catching the disease is roughly the same but men are more likely to develop such a serious case of Covid-19 that they get so ill they ultimately die.

The study covers late 2019 when the virus was first discovered all the way up to 11 February and found the death rate was 2.8 per cent for men compared to 1.7 per cent for women.

The explanation

While experts are not entirely sure about the reasons for this discrepancy, Professor Paul Hunter from the University of East Anglia did have this to say to the BBC:

Women are more likely to suffer from auto-immune diseases, and there is good evidence that women produce better antibodies to vaccines against flu.

Apparently men are more likely to damage their health in myriad other ways such as smoking thereby making them susceptible to a fatal case of coronavirus.

What about the children?

The good news is that, unlike ordinary flu, coronavirus does not appear to stimulate children’s immune system into overdrive so they are not at risk like the elderly. Professor Nathalie McDermott from King’s College London said:

There must be something this virus does that is not as readily stimulating the immune system in children, but what that is unclear.

The scientists don’t fully understand it but it’s good news. Hopefully they’ll understand more to combat the bad news in the not too distant future.

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