Men are TWICE as likely as women to die of coronavirus, White House doc warns – The Sun

THE WHITE House coronavirus task force revealed that men are twice as likely to die of the deadly virus than women.

Dr Deborah Birx, the response coordinator, said, when discussing Italy, that double the number of men than women are dying from COVID-19.

Dr Birx told reporters: "Frankly from Italy we are seeing another concerning trend that the mortality in males seems to be twice in every age group of females.

"This should alert all of us to continue our vigilance to protect our Americans that are in nursing homes."

This follows science writer Anjana Ahuja's comment that the virus mainly effects men.

Science writer Anjana Ahuja, in her column for the Financial Times, said: “It is an eye-catching discrepancy.

“A picture is emerging of 2019-nCoV [now COVID-19] as a novel pathogen that disproportionately affects older men, particularly those with existing illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.”

She said possible reasons for the differences between men and women could be smoking, a variation of hospital treatment and hormonal differences which could impact males’ immune system response.

Women are prone to autoimmune diseases, which causes parts of their immune system to become stronger to compensate, resulting in a possible stronger response to the coronavirus.

Also, females routinely outlive men by six to eight years and are more likely to reach their first birthday, according to the World Health Organization.

Stanley Perlman, an immunologist at the University of Iowa and his colleagues suggested that hormones, including Oestrogen, could be a possible defence against the virus.

Prof Perlman studied how SARS — a sister disease of the new coronavirus called Covid-19 — impacts male and female mice.

He concluded that male mice were affected in greater number, while adding that his study was consistent across coronaviruses as well.

Two studies on SARS and MERS patients found that males had a higher death rate for both diseases.

One study showed that out of 1,800 SARS patients — men had a nine per cent higher date rate.

A 2019 study of 229 Mers patients showed found that males had a six per cent higher death rate over females.

Anjana said: “Some scientists are now convinced that these sex differences in clinical data reflect a genuine male vulnerability to coronavirus, rather than a bias in exposure.

“The observations add to growing evidence that immunologically speaking, men are the weaker sex.”

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