The emergence of COVID-19 and its spread has significant effects on every aspect of our lives. This includes the socio-economic aspects and more importantly, the health aspects. With millions of people dead as a result of the virus all over the world, recent research has been looking at the relationship between coronavirus and gender, and there is a lot to see.
According to Global Action for Men’s Health (GAMH), evidence from China suggests the mortality rate for COVID-19 was almost twice as high as that of women. Reports of the virus in Italy also showed that by 11 Marc, of the 827 deaths recorded in the city, 80% were male. While these reports were considered early and cannot be used to judge the impacts of the virus on gender, it is similar to epidemiologists’ observations during the MERS and SARS outbreak. For instance, the Hong Kong SARS outbreak of 2003 presents some facts; about 13 per cent of infected women died from the virus, while 22% of infected men died. For MERS infection in 2017 to 2018, close to 26 per cent of infected women died as opposed to 32 per cent of infected men. Since viruses within the coronavirus family cause all these diseases, it is likely that COVID-19 also affects men more severely than women.
The gap in mortality can also be because of gendered or sex-based immunological difference—for example, the prevalence and patterns of smoking. Sex disparity was found to be true in the case of mice infected by SARS; it may be that the oestrogen hormone has a protective effect as it was found in mice where blocking the oestrogen receptors or removing the ovaries of SARS-infected female mice increased the likelihood of death as opposed to those whose oestrogen receptor is not blocked nor ovaries removed.
Global Action for Men’s Health (GAMH) also established a Gender and COVID-19 Working Group, which observed that public health policies and efforts have failed to consider disease outbreaks and gendered impacts. Governments and health institutions have ignored the gender analysis of these outbreaks, including COVID-19, and this sometimes results in a flawed approach to dealing with the outbreak. Past experiences show that gender analysis should be incorporated into any response and preparedness efforts for dealing with a virus. This can mean the difference in the approaches used for different groups or individuals.
The toolbox explains everything that men need to know about the coronavirus in a fun and straightforward way. The toolbox includes the ways in which the virus can be contracted, the length of period for which the virus can survive outside a body, the main symptoms of the virus, the ways to protect against the virus, and the risk factors.
Meta Description: It is crucial to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on men so as to develop a suitable approach for management. Click here to read more.