Why are men more susceptible to Covid-19?

This phenomenon known as "human influenza" has been confirmed in previously published large-scale epidemiological studies and animal studies of influenza. In these studies, the men have been sick longer, have more severe symptoms, and have a weaker response to the vaccine . Laboratory tests in animals infected with influenza viruses have also emphasized that there are gender differences in the immune response, which may affect the results observed in humans. But are these more serious symptoms and outcomes unique to colds and the flu?

As a respiratory toxicologist and researcher who studies gender differences in the respiratory system , I am interested in reading a recent study on gender-specific responses to COVID-19, showing that men are actually more susceptible to this disease. And suffer more pain. Determined by research

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Why Men May Be More Susceptible to COVID-19

As the pandemic progresses, people are learning more about the diseases that are putting the world on edge. For example, it is now known that COVID-19 is not airborne and, in fact, can survive on surfaces for several hours. Therefore, it is important to clean and disinfect all objects that may come into contact with the hands, because viruses and bacteria come into contact with the mouth, nose and eyes through them and infect the body. It is proven that touching your face without washing your hands favors infection, but a new hypothesis is currently being discussed: a man's beard.

All facial hair, including scalp hair, can be spread if exposed to the environment and possibly less than a meter away, and viruses can be deposited in the hair . Therefore, since the chin strap is not closed enough and prevents isolation measures, it is recommended to wear a hat in the health area and use the minimum amount of facial hair.

The study examined samples including nasal swabs, saliva and blood obtained from healthy people or from COVID-19 patients. These samples are used to better understand what the immune response to infection is like and how the response is different in critically ill patients. Similar to CDC infection rate data, no gender differences were found in virus concentration or amount of virus in nasal swabs or saliva. There is also no difference in antibody levels, which is a sign that the body has recognized the virus detected in infected men and women.

Men with SARS-CoV-2 Show Greater Inflammation

The blood samples were tested for a variety of cytokines, which are the first signaling molecules that help immune cells respond to pathogens. The levels of these signals rise and fall to provide an adequate response to resist invading pathogens. But a large number of these molecules can seriously harm the human body. This is the case of a cytokine storm. The report's authors noted gender differences in the intensity of cytokine responses.

Compared to women, men show higher levels of cytokines that trigger inflammation, such as IL-8 and IL-18. Higher levels of these cytokines are associated with more severe disease. In severe cases of COVID-19, fluid will accumulate in the lungs, thus reducing the oxygen required by the human body for normal work. This can cause tissue damage, shock, and possibly multiple organ failure.

Increased Susceptibility to COVID-19 in Men is Likely Biological

These results contradict speculation that men's susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection is attributable to risky behaviors . These measures include downplaying the severity of the virus, attending large gatherings, ignoring social distancing guidelines, and reducing rates of handwashing and mask wearing. In contrast, the infection rate between men and women is actually similar, and men are at higher risk of severe illness from COVI9-19, indicating a biological difference in response to infection.

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In short, although the beard and long scalp are exposed to the virus like any other surface, the factor that changes everything will be everyone's hygiene measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

If the person takes extreme cleanliness and personal hygiene measures, such as not touching their face, washing their hands and social distancing, as well as other measures recommended by the WHO, this should not be a problem, since it is important to take extreme control measures .

This article is the first to explore the sensitivity mechanism of gender differences. As men's innate biological risks of serious illness and death increase, this suggests that men may need to be vigilant about social distancing, washing their hands and wearing masks. Greater adherence to protective measures to prevent infection, especially among men, will not only reduce the risk of infection, but also prevent the increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19. The bottom line of this new article is that researchers need to consider strategies to ensure that treatments and vaccines are effective for both men and women, especially when one drug is more susceptible to infection than another.

How is COVID‑19 spread?

A person can get COVID-19 by contacting another person who has the virus. The disease is spread primarily from person to person through droplets that come out of the nose or mouth of an infected person when coughing, sneezing, or talking. These droplets are relatively heavy, do not travel very far, and do not fall to the ground quickly. If a person becomes infected with droplets from someone infected with the virus, they will become infected with COVID-19. That's why it's important to keep at least a meter away from others. These water droplets will land on objects and surfaces around the person (such as tables, doorknobs, and railings), so if other people touch these objects or surfaces and then their eyes, nose, or mouth, they can become infected. That is why it is necessary to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol disinfectant.

What does it mean to isolate?

Quarantine is an important measure taken by people with symptoms of COVID-19 to avoid infecting others in the community, including family members. Quarantine occurs when people with a fever, cough, or other symptoms of COVID-19 stay home from work, school, or public places. You can do this voluntarily or you can follow the advice of your health care provider. However, if you live in an area with malaria or dengue fever, it is important not to ignore the fever. Seek medical help. When you go to the health center, please wear a mask and stay at least one meter away from other people and do not touch the surface with your hands. If the patient is a child, help him follow this advice.

  • Occupy a large, well-ventilated single room with a toilet and sink.
  • If this is not possible, place the beds at least one meter apart.
  • Stay at least one meter away from others, including family members.
  • Monitor your symptoms daily.
  • Isolate yourself for 14 days, even if you feel fine.
  • If you have difficulty breathing, contact your health care provider immediately. Phone first if possible.
  • Stay positive and energized by staying in touch with loved ones on the phone or online and exercising at home.

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Is there a vaccine, medicine or treatment against COVID-19?

Although some Western or traditional medicine solutions or home remedies can ease and relieve mild symptoms of COVID-19, so far there is no medicine to prevent or cure the disease. The WHO does not recommend the use of any medication for self-medication, including antibiotics, to prevent or cure COVID-19. However, there are ongoing clinical trials of traditional and Western drugs.

WHO is coordinating the development of vaccines and medicines for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, and will continue to provide the latest information once research results are available.

The most effective ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 are:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
  • Cover your mouth with your elbow flexed or with a handkerchief. If a tissue is used, it should be discarded immediately after use and hands washed.
  • Keep a distance of at least one meter from other people.

Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating COVID-19?

No. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses, they are only effective against bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics can't work. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of preventing or treating COVID-19. In hospitals, doctors sometimes use antibiotics to prevent or treat secondary bacterial infections, which can be a complication of COVID-19 in seriously ill patients. They should only be used as directed by a doctor to treat bacterial infections.

How can I protect myself against COVID-19?

  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from other people – this is called social distancing. This helps prevent you from inhaling infected droplets that come off people when they breathe, cough, sneeze, or talk.

  • Wear a mask over your mouth and nose if you have to leave your home, especially in places where you will be around other people, like at the grocery store or doctor's office, even if you are keeping 6 feet of distance from other people. Make sure children ages 2 and up wear a mask too. Masks slow the spread of the virus. You can make your own masks out of t-shirts, bandanas, or other types of cotton fabric. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has information on how to make and use masks.

  • Wash your hands regularly, using soap and water, especially after going to the bathroom, being away from home, or around someone who is sick. Just like before eating, touching food or your face. Scrub (rub) your hands together for at least 20 seconds, cleaning all surfaces of your hands, including between your fingers and under your fingernails. You can also use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

People with COVID-19 can take 2 to 14 days to start showing symptoms. However, people who have the virus but have no symptoms can spread it. It is impossible to tell if they have COVID-19 just by looking at others . Therefore, the safest thing for everyone is to limit contact with others as much as possible. It has also been observed in China and Italy that men are more susceptible to coronavirus infection, although studies carried out so far have not clarified the reasons for this difference.

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This may be due to biological factors, such as women's increased resistance to infection, cultural factors (such as increased smoking in men), or a combination of both.

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