FGCU expert talks age and gender regarding coronavirus

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
WINK News talks to Dr. Robert Hawkes at FGCU via video chat. Credit: WINK News.

We’ve noticed here in Southwest Florida more men are testing positive for coronavirus than women. And there are more young people getting diagnosed with coroanvirus.

A medical expert we spoke to Thursday said the reason why there are so many new cases in younger people is because there’s more testing available. As far as the men go, it could be several things, including they were out in the community more often, or they have more risk factors.

Other countries are also reporting similar trends. More men are testing positive for the coronavirus than women.

“Is there something going on, either underlying conditions or not doing social distancing?” said Dr. Robert Hawkes, the director of FGCU’s physician assistant program. “I don’t think we know yet.”

Not every country breaks down the data in terms of male or female, but the ones that do show the mortality rate is higher in men, depending on the country.

“Perhaps there were more male smokers that were carrying in that population,” Hawkes said. “Perhaps they had underlying issues. And maybe perhaps they were out into the community, so they received more of the community acquired coronavirus versus women.

And then there’s the number of younger individuals being diagnosed with COVID-19.

“So just by saying, ‘This is only a disease for the older population and, if I’m younger, I don’t have to worry about it,’ that’s not true,” Hawkes said. “That’s certainly not what we’re seeing with the data.”

The Florida Department of Health has also consistently shown people in their twenties as one of the most heavily affected age groups.

“I think more of the population is being tested, and we’re probably getting really a better picture of who really is carrying the virus,” Hawkes said.

Hawkes said he hopes these numbers show everyone how important it is to take this virus seriously and listen to the recommendations from the CDC.

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