Coronavirus Affects More Men Than Women – Potential Reasons

The coronavirus pandemic has taken everyone by surprise in the latest weeks as no one expected that a virus similar to influenza can spread so quickly and infect thousands of people worldwide. At March 16, 2020, there are nearly 190,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus infections all over the world and approximately 7,500 confirmed deaths.

As scientists and medical professionals are going the extra mile to create a suitable vaccine for this virus, they have stumbled upon an interesting pattern when it comes to the spreading of coronavirus – it affects more men than women. The exact answer to this question is not known yet, but this article tries to give a few potential explanations, so keep reading.

1. More Men Smoke Cigarettes in Comparison with Women

As you probably already know, smoking causes significant injury to the lungs and respiratory tract. People who smoke for a long period of time can develop different types of respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and even lung cancer. Coronavirus is a type of disease that targets the respiratory tract primarily, so smokers are more susceptible to the potentially deadly effects of this illness.

At the same time, statistics show that there are more men smokers than women smokers. This could be one of the reasons why more men are infected with coronavirus and develop complications in comparison with women. In China, nearly 2% of women smoke in comparison with more than 50% of men who are smokers. 

2. Women Might Have a Stronger Immune System

This is also a viable theory on why more men get infected with coronavirus in comparison with women. It has been discovered that women have a stronger immune response to vaccination in comparison to men. At the same time, most women’s bodies also seem to handle respiratory diseases, colds, and influenza viruses better than most men. This might happen because a woman’s body is naturally designed to protect a baby and it has stronger defensive mechanisms against viruses, bacteria, and microbes.

On the other hand, studies show that more women than men develop autoimmune diseases. An autoimmune disease happens when the immune system starts to attack the internal organs and tissues of a person. Some examples of autoimmune diseases include lupus, celiac disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. Maybe more women develop autoimmune diseases because their immune systems are indeed stronger and easily triggered than those of men. This might explain why women are better protected against the coronavirus in comparison with men.

3. Women Have More Estrogen and This Plays an Important Role in Immunity

Estrogen is one of the most important female sex hormones. Women have more estrogen in their bodies in comparison with men. This substance plays a vital role in immunity as it can help the body respond to various types of viruses and diseases quicker and better. Maybe this is one reason why fewer women get infected with coronavirus in comparison with men. However, this additional defense mechanism starts to degrade once a woman reaches menopause and her levels of estrogens drop.

The Coronavirus Spread Might Decrease Significantly After April 2020

Although scientists and medical staff all over the world work hard to find out more about the coronavirus disease, it’s pretty clear that it has a behavioral pattern similar to flu. In other words, it can survive outside the body for a few days and it spreads through aerosolization which basically means that it travels through the air via coughing and sneezing.

If we look at a simple graph regarding the peak transmission times of flu in the last decades, we can see that the most dangerous months are December, January, February, and March. Once the weather starts to get warmer, more water is evaporated from surfaces, so the flu virus cannot resist out of the body for too long. This significantly stops the spreading of the virus and the mortality rate decreases.

Scientists have speculated that this might be the case with the coronavirus as well. The most dangerous months have been December when it spread all across Wuhan Province in China and February when it spread through most European countries, especially Italy. March is also a month with significant viral activity, but there’s hope that starting with April, the spreading of the virus will cease.

Remember to Wash Your Hands and Don’t Get Exposed to Big Crowds!

As mentioned earlier, the spreading of the coronavirus has definitely taken everyone by surprise, but this crisis situation is definitely manageable. It’s up to every individual to protect himself against the virus by washing hands with warm water and soap several times a day. Minimizing exposure to large groups of people will also reduce your chances of getting infected.

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