Does coronavirus affect men and women differently? Mumbai’s serosurveys throw up interesting facts

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Published: July 30, 2020 1:36 PM

Based on the RT-PCR testing method, men account for 55 percent of the total coronavirus case count in Mumbai while the women in the city account for a lot less than the men in total coronavirus cases count at 45 per cent.

Results of serosurveys conducted in three wards of Mumbai have thrown up interesting statistics. (Reuters image)

A series of serological surveys conducted in Mumbai which was one the earliest and biggest covid hotspot in the country has thrown up some interesting numbers that may help health experts, scientists, and policymakers to chart out a better containment strategy in times going ahead. The serosurveys and its findings have hinted that the coronavirus infections vary gender to gender in its severity. The serosurveys have also reaffirmed the already established fact about the coronavirus infection that it sweeps through the population at a rapid rate in regions of high population density, poor physical distancing, and shared facilities of toilets, washing areas.

Mumbai Serosurvey- Coronavirus infection in men vs women

Results of serosurveys conducted in three wards of Mumbai have thrown up interesting statistics that more women had contracted coronavirus and likewise, more women developed immunity against it than men in Mumbai.

According to the data released by Maharashtra health department, serological samples of 2, 297 women and 1,937 men were collected from the slum areas out of which 59.3 per cent of women had developed IgG antibody against coronavirus in comparison to 53.2 percent of the men who had antibodies against SARS-CoV2 that causes covid-19.

Following the pattern of coronavirus pandemic until now, the number of men and women who contracted coronavirus were less in Mumbai’s non-slum areas as well. Only 16.8 per cent of women and 14.9 per cent of total men whose serological samples were taken showed signs of developed antibodies against coronavirus. Though the level of exposure in the non-slum areas was low, it showed that more women had contracted the coronavirus and also developed immunity against it than the men in Mumbai.

Mumbai coronavirus- RT-PCR vs Serological survey

Comparing the trends suggested by the serological survey to the patterns shown by the RT-PCR method of testing in Mumbai establishes the fact that although more women got contracted to the virus, the number of women who actually developed symptoms was still lower than the male.

Based on the RT-PCR testing method, men account for 55 percent of the total coronavirus case count in Mumbai while the women in the city account for a lot less than the men in total coronavirus cases count at 45 per cent.

Coronavirus and Gender

Some experts have suggested that women develop lesser symptoms from coronavirus infections and also recover quickly against it as compared to men. Some experts have attributed the presence of Estrogen hormone in them for the less severe form of coronavirus infection.

However, they have urged caution against reading too much into it, and the trends that Mumbai have shown need to be substantiated when the data emerges from other hotspot cities such as New York.

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