By: Annie Priya
February 10 2022
The claim is based on research that is in its preliminary stages and is yet to be peer-reviewed.
The claim is based on research that is in its preliminary stages and is yet to be peer-reviewed. A post on Twitter by science writer Rolf Degen claims that men are not only more likely to have a severe COVID infection, they are also expected to transmit the virus to their partners. The post has been attributed to a study by Brazilian researchers and is unverifiable. Between July 2020 and July 2021, Brazilian researchers conducted an epidemiological survey of 1,744 unvaccinated couples with at least one infected spouse living together without preventative measures. The study, published in Medrxiv, found that men were the first to be affected. "The observations supported the hypothesis that male individuals are more efficient virus transmitters than females, independently of the use of protective masks," the research found. However, the study is yet to be peer-reviewed. According to a report published in Frontiers in Public Health on April 29, 2020, both men and women were equally likely to contract the virus; however, the former were more at risk of severe infection, including death. (Independent of their age) However, the study was preliminary. In addition, a survey conducted in March-April 2020 indicated that men are more hesitant than women to follow COVID-19 appropriate behavior. The Healthline reports that men are more likely to engage in risky behavior, such as ignoring physical distancing, and less likely to take symptoms seriously. According to infectious disease expert Dr. Stephen Berger, "Some of the underlying reasons why COVID-19 may be more deadly for men than women may include the fact that heart disease is more common in older men than in women," Healthline reported. Berger added that "Studies also find that high blood pressure and liver disease are more prevalent in men, and these all contribute to more negative outcomes with COVID-19." According to a study published in the European Heart Journal, "men have higher concentrations of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in their blood than women". This enzyme lets the coronavirus infect a healthy cell. The report adds that because women have an extra X chromosome, their immunity is more vital than men's. Although men have a higher mortality rate and weaker immunity, there is insufficient evidence to support the claim that they are COVID-19 super spreaders. Considering the lack of evidence to support the claim, we evaluate this claim as unverifiable. The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.