Men have 62 percent higher death risk from virus than women: Study

*Scientists suggest condition may be due to higher levels of inflammation and immune system weak spots among male Coronavirus patients

*Younger adults account for 20 percent of new COVID-19 cases; lifestyles and behaviours of younger adults could translate into a heightened vulnerability to COVID-19, CDC Report reveals

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the first wave of the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to ravage most economies in the world, recent anecdotal evidence suggests that men are more likely to have more severe pandemic symptoms than women.

In a new study, researchers suggest that men are also more likely to die from the virus.

ConsumerConnect learnt that the researchers at University Hospital Regensburg, in Germany, stated that men have a 62 percent higher risk of a COVID-19 associated death when compared to women.

The scientists believe it may be due to higher levels of inflammation among male Coronavirus patients.

The study equally indicates that men have more admissions to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) when admitted to a hospital than women.

Generally, male patients spent more time in the hospital than females due to the virus, according to the researchers.

On how severe cases linked to immune system weak spots, the researchers investigated the reason why some people shake off COVID-19 like it was a bad cold while others fight for their lives in the hospital.

According to the scientists, underlying health issues can be a factor, and that may provide a clue to the larger picture.

Chronic illnesses like cancer can weaken the immune system, and it now seems clear that a strong immune system is needed to fight off the Coronavirus.

Two new analyses suggest that some life-threatening cases can be traced to weak spots in patients’ immune systems.

One analysis showed that at least 10 percent of patients with a severe form of the disease created “auto-antibodies” that attack the immune system instead of fighting the virus.

Jean-Laurent Casanova, a medical researcher at The Rockefeller University, said that seeing these harmful antibodies in so many patients – 101 out of 987 – was “a stunning observation.”

Meanwhile, younger adults were said to have accounted for 20 percent of new COVID-19 cases.

According the a new study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people in their 20’s now account for 1 in 5 COVID-19 cases in the United States.

The CDC said this age group surpassed all others in terms of groups with the highest percentage of confirmed cases over the summer.

The agency said this was especially true in the southern regions, which were heavily impacted by spikes in cases in June.

Health officials revealed that the figures suggest “younger adults likely contributed to community transmission of COVID-19.”

The CDC said that the emerging trend highlights the need to protect those who are more vulnerable to developing severe complications from COVID-19.

Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore, stated that “younger individuals, who may not require hospitalisation, spread the virus to older, more vulnerable persons.

“This change in infection patterns underscores the need to fortify vulnerable populations, especially those in nursing homes and assisted living centers, to insulate them from chains of viral transmission.”

While referencing shifts in trends, the agency’s data also showed that as of May 2020, the median age of people infected with COVID-19 was 46, according to the CDC’s data. Infected individuals between 40 and 49 accounted for 16.4 percent of the country’s cases while the 20-29 age bracket which made up 15.5 percent of COVID-19 positive patients in the US.

However, it noted that by June, the 20-29 year old age group had surpassed the 40-49 year old age group in terms of numbers, making up 20.3 percent of cases.

Older patients accounted for 16.0 percent.

The next month, 20-somethings accounted for 23.2 percent of the nation’s COVID-19 cases, and the 40-49 bracket accounted for 15.2 percent.

The CDC stated: “This report provides preliminary evidence that younger adults contributed to community transmission of COVID-19 to older adults.

“Across the southern United States in June 2020, the increase in SARS-CoV-2 infection among younger adults preceded the increase among older adults by 4–15 days (or approximately one to three incubation periods).”

Likewise, similar observations were said to have been reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO), according to the CDC.

Experts say the lifestyles and behaviours of younger adults could translate into a heightened vulnerability to COVID-19.

Younger adults often work in places that could put them at greater risk of being exposed to the virus, and reports indicate that they generally tend to be more lax about adhering to social distancing guidelines, the report added.

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