More Men Than Woman Are Falling Victim To Coronavirus. That Might Have Something To Do With Smoking Habits.
A number of factors may be working against men in the current epidemic, scientists say, including some that are biological, and some that are rooted in lifestyle. Meanwhile, experts say that the current coronavirus outbreak is just the latest sign that the the wildlife trade needs to be shut down. And a closer look at other Asian countries gives researchers hints about how the virus may spread.
The New York Times:
Why The Coronavirus Seems To Hit Men Harder Than Women
The coronavirus that originated in China has spread fear and anxiety around the world. But while the novel virus has largely spared one vulnerable group — children — it appears to pose a particular threat to middle-aged and older adults, particularly men. This week, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention published the largest analysis of coronavirus cases to date. Although men and women have been infected in roughly equal numbers, researchers found, the death rate among men was 2.8 percent, compared with 1.7 percent among women. (Rabin, 2/20)
The New York Times:
To Prevent Next Coronavirus, Stop The Wildlife Trade, Conservationists Say
The coronavirus spreading from China has sickened at least 73,000 people and killed at least 2,000, setting in motion a global health emergency. But humans aren’t the only species infected. Coronaviruses attack a variety of birds and mammals. The new virus seems to have leapt from wildlife to humans in a seafood and meat market in Wuhan, China, where live animals were slaughtered and sold as food. (Nuwer, 2/19)
The New York Times:
What A Party In Japan May Tell Us About The Coronavirus’s Spread
Rain was falling on the night of Jan. 18, so the windows of the Tokyo party boat were shut. Inside were about 90 guests of a local taxi association who were celebrating the new year as the vessel floated down the Sumida River. Also on board, unbeknown to them, was a coronavirus capable of spreading ferociously. It did just that. A driver in his 70s soon fell ill with fever; he later tested positive. The same day as his diagnosis, his mother-in-law died; she also was infected. Officials then discovered that 10 others from the boat were, too, including an employee who had served passengers from Wuhan, China. Still more who did not attend the party caught the virus after coming into contact with those who did. (Wee and Inoue, 2/20)
Meanwhile, fear and prejudice can spread faster than any virus could —
The Associated Press:
Stress, Rumors, Even Violence: Virus Fear Goes Viral
You might have heard that the fear of a new virus from China is spreading faster than the actual virus. From earnest officials trying to calm a building panic. From your spouse. From the know-it-all who rattles off the many much more likely ways you’re going to die: smoking, car accidents, the flu. None of it seems to matter. (Klug, 2/20)
Coronavirus Spurs Prejudice. History Suggests That's No Surprise.
In the 14th century, Europe had descended into chaos. In a six-year span, a disease — marked by swollen lymph nodes in the armpit, groin, or neck — as much as halved Europe’s population. At the time, Jewish people were scapegoated for the pestilence: One incident in present-day France saw 1,000 Jews burned alive after the group was accused of poisoning wells. More than 500 years later, scientists had yet to crack the real story of how the seemingly indiscriminate disease, called bubonic plague, moved through society. By the time a resurgence made its way to San Francisco in 1900, writes journalist Marilyn Chase in “The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco,” the best theories science offered included transmission via dirt, food, and miasma — a now disproved idea that disease spread through tainted air. (Peryer, 2/13)
What's Spreading Faster Than Coronavirus In The US? Racist Attacks Against Asians
In New York City, a man assaults a woman wearing a face mask, calling her a "diseased b****." On a Los Angeles subway, a man proclaims Chinese people are filthy and says "every disease has ever came from China." Rampant ignorance and misinformation about the novel coronavirus, experts say, has led to racist and xenophobic attacks against fellow Americans or anyone in the United States who looks Asian. (Yan, Chen and Naresh, 2/20)