Last month, scientists from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention published a research paper analyzing the data for the first 72,314 people diagnosed with Covid-19.
Epidemiologists say it will take a long time to fully understand the mechanics of the coronavirus outbreak, but the information published by the Chinese scientists may give some insight into those most vulnerable to the virus.
The data shows that men and women have roughly the same chance of contracting the virus. When the scientists looked at 44,672 patients confirmed to have the disease, they found there were 106 diagnosed men per 100 women.
However, the impact on men appears to be worse, at least among those who were part of this initial study. While 2.8% of the men diagnosed with the disease died, only 1.7% of women did.
The researchers also looked at how severe the illness was for those who were diagnosed. The good news: more than 80% experienced only mild symptoms. Almost 14% were classed as severe cases, while the condition of almost 5% was determined to be critical.
But even though a minority of cases are severe and critical, the sheer scale of the pandemic means healthcare systems in many countries are starting to crumble. The northern Italian city of Bergamo has been hit so hard by coronavirus that it is sending patients who need intensive care to other parts of the country.
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