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Male mortality rate from coronavirus twice as high as females in Italy

At a White House briefing, Dr. Deborah Birx said 'the mortality in males seems to be twice in every age group of females.'

Data from patients diagnosed with the new coronavirus show that males have a higher mortality rate compared to females. 

At a coronavirus task force press briefing on Thursday, Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the coronavirus task force, said new data from Italy is confirming earlier reports. 

"The mortality in males seems to be twice in every age group of females, which should alert all of us to continue our vigilance to protect our Americans that are in nursing homes," Dr. Birx said. 

In Italy, men made up 60% of those who contracted the virus, and made up 70% of those who have died from covid-19, according to data from Italy's main public health research agency

In South Korea, 61% of coronavirus patients were women, but 54% of those who died from covid-19 were men, according to Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Credit: AP
President Donald Trump listens as White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Friday, March 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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At the briefing, Dr. Birx also warned that younger individuals could be seriously at risk. 

"We continue to see signs that, again, individuals under 20, 19 and under, may have severe disease, but majority and all have recovered to date," Birx said. 

"No one is immune," Dr. Birx added. "I sometimes hear people on radio or others talking about I'm immune to the virus. We don't know if the contagion levels are difference in age groups, but we know it's highly contagious to everyone."

The majority of people who have the new coronavirus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19, will get better without any long-term effects, according to an Oregon doctor.

 About 80% of cases tend to be mild. In these cases, symptoms diminish over five to seven days, although people are still capable of transmitting the disease. But there are many people with a higher risk of having a more severe disease if they are diagnosed with coronavirus, including those with heart disease, diabetes, asthma and other vascular disease problems. Also, most children who get it have mild symptoms.