Scientists are divided over why the new corona virus (nCoV) appears in China to infect men more than women, a phenomenon similar to the SARS virus years ago.
By February 11, the world had more than 43,000 nCoV infections, the majority of which more than 1,000 died in mainland China.
A Chinese physician in the area quarantines patients infected with corona virus in Wuhan city - (Photo: AFP)
According to Business Insider , a new study of nearly 140 patients at Wuhan Medical University Hospital shows a clearer picture of how the new corona virus attacks humans.
Accordingly, the researchers found that nCoV has a serious effect on older men with pre-existing health problems (underlying disease).More than 54% of patients in the study were men, the average age was 56.
Other recent studies have shown similar results. Statistics on 99 patients in Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital recorded an average age of 55.5, men accounted for about 68%.
A third study of nearly 1,100 nCoV patients (still awaiting evaluation) calculated an average age of 47 years for men, accounting for 58% of all cases.
The above data makes some researchers suspect that men have certain biological traits that make them susceptible to corona virus attacks , although this has not been clearly proven.
Coincidentally, SARS, a corona virus with a 80% genome similar to nCoV, also infected more men than women during the 2002-2003 epidemic.
A supermarket in Wuhan city after an outbreak of nCoV - (Image: REUTERS)
In 2017, researchers at the University of Iowa (USA) studied by spreading the SARS virus in male and female mice. The study on mice was not entirely true in humans, but they also found that male mice are more susceptible to viral infections than female mice.
The team speculates that X chromosomes and hormones like estrogen have contributed to preventing the virus from remaining in women. Doctors at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital also gave a similar explanation for the phenomenon that men are more susceptible to corona virus than women.
On the other hand, they observed that many patients with severe symptoms had pre-existing conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc., which were more common among middle-aged men than middle-aged women.
Mr. Aaron Milstone, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University (USA), said that the sex factor in risk of corona virus infection is unclear."When a new virus emerges, all populations are equally at risk , " he said.
Supporting this view, Wuhan University's study noted that the proportion of male / female patients in the hospital intensive care unit is nearly the same, suggesting that the symptoms of men are not necessarily more severe than those of women. female (although reality may change as the epidemic progresses).
Milstone acknowledges that data on the nCoV epidemic is very limited to date.
"The statistics may not be comprehensive because the testing capacity is weak, so far no commercial-scale testing methods have been applied. We do not fully understand what is happening," he said. price.
Graphic: NGOC THANH