e-Journal Current Affairs - 2020

Men are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than women: How and Why?

Initially there was a hypothesis that men might be more vulnerable to COVID-19 virus than women. However, the hypothesis has now been proved by a research published in the European Heart Journal.

Highlights

The ACE2 enzyme in the human body is the key factor that enables the COVID-19 to infect human cells. The study has found out that levels of ACE2 enzymes are more in men than in women.

What is ACE2 enzyme?

The angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 lies in the outer surface of cells of lungs, heart, kidneys. The primary function of the enzyme is to regulate the transport of amino acids (amino acids are formed from digestion of proteins).

The ACE2 enzymes act as main entry points for the COVID-19 virus. There are hypothetical studies that say that reducing level of ACE2 enzyme could be a successful treatment for COVID-19.

The ACE inhibiting drugs are used to cure heart diseases. They also help in reducing blood pressure.

What is COVID Toe?

The British Journal of Dermatology Researchers have so far observed 5 clinical patterns of the COVID-19 cases. One such is COVID Toe. COVID Toe is a kind of rash that is being developed in COVID-19 patients.

COVID Toe

According to the study, COVID Toe was observed in 19% of patients infected with COVID-19. The dermatologists call the red rashes as Pseudo-Chilblain lesions. They are small red and itchy patches that occur on the fingers and toes when exposed to cold.

Chilblains

Chilblains occur due to inflammation of blood vessels and response to repeated exposure of cold air. It usually goes away in one or three weeks. However, this was not the case with Chilblains like patches due to COVID-19.

Five Clinical Patterns Observed

According to the study, five clinical patterns were observed in patients with COVID-19 infection. They are as follows

  • Small blisters on the limbs and trunks were found on 9% of COVID-19 patients. It was more among middle aged patients
  • White of pink skin that looked like nettle rashes were observed in 19% of patients
  • Maculopapules were found in more than 47% of patients. Maculopapules are small, raised and flat red bumps that were common in patients with severe infections.
  • Livedo occurred in 6% of patients. Livedo is condition where the skin looked blotchy red or blue. It has signs of poor circulation of blood.