NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Yale Medicine researchers say that men, especially, need to take COVID-19 seriously.
”Statistics from China, Italy and the US show that men are more susceptible to COVID-19 disease,” said Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, Professor of Immunobiology at the Yale School of Medicine.
She is among those studying why.
“This is an interesting area for us to study because we’ve been actually studying sex differences in a variety of other diseases,” she said.
Iwasaki says men tend to mount a less robust immune response, for instance, to vaccines for other viruses.
“We are working at lightning speed, you know, around the clock, no weekends,” said Iwasaki. “We are just devoting ourselves, as scientists, to try to understand the immune response to the virus.”
The study is analyzing the complex interaction of immune cells and antibodies throughout the course of the disease.
We are already collecting hundreds of patient's blood samples to be able to determine whether there is a sex-dependent difference in immune response and how they differ,” she noted.
In Italy, one analysis showed 70 percent of deaths, from the illness, were men. And, while they continue their inquiry, researchers advise men, in particular, to take extra precautions to avoid contracting COVID-19.
“Making sure to wear a mask and, you know, wash hands and physically distancing themselves,” she reminded.
One of the aims of the study, she says, is to develop specific treatments that decrease excessive inflammation and promote long-lasting immunity that can extinguish this pandemic.