Researchers identify ‘Tertiary cases’ of COVID-19 among African nations

Infectious diseases experts in Guinea Republic found that 11 African nations have recorded deaths from COVID-19 as of the end of May, a rise from the five fatalities recorded a month earlier.

“In some cases, these confirmations as cases relate to COVID-19 are small,” Dr. Sue Sgarcy, president of the International HIV/AIDS Institute at the University of Kampala in South Africa, told Reuters Health by telephone.

African nations have reported a total of 86 confirmed infections and an additional 15 deaths from the coronavirus in Guinea, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, Sgarcy and her colleagues found. Develop-country fatalities were 2,017.

Infections reported in Guinea including Ebola in the densely populated country of 1.3 billion people began in August 2018, but the rate of resistance to West African viruses increased, Sgarcy and her colleagues wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine.

A novel coronavirus, the combination of the virus which causes COVID-19 and which has infected more than 1,100 people, had spread from its original epicenter in Wuhan to multiple countries in the early part of this year, Mr. Sharif, deputy premier of the presidency of President John Magufuli, said at a joint news conference on Thursday.

The Public Health Agency of Tanzania announced 18 deaths from Ebola last week, the largest toll since last November, as the country battles the disease for the first time in years.

“We have seen a rising rate of transmission,” Dr. Sgarcy told Reuters Health by telephone from Heraklandia, Tanzania’s capitol.

“In general, we see infections around Africa in the early part of the summer season which we do not see in the spring at least,” she said. “It means it’s easier to see.”

COVID-19 can cause a fever, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and severe pneumonia, Sgarcy said.

As noted recently in the New England Journal of Medicine, deaths from CoV-2 disease, the virus transmitted by the new coronavirus, spiked in July in West Africa, prompting an intervention by the World Health Organization and suggested that African countries may have already survived the pandemic.

“It’s a question of when, rather than if we have enough cases as we have seen in the early part of this (year),” she said, referring to the onset of the final two weeks of the pandemic.

The authors said that while the numbers of settlers infected by the new coronavirus was not as high as expected, the evidence of resistance is enough to hint at a new vulnerability in the continent.

The results also showed that COVID-19 prevalence rates among the 21 Central African nations are not uniform, with Guinea ANC 13.1 percent, Madagascar 11.2 percent and Nigeria 9.5 percent.

In South Africa, at 11.2 percent, the rate of COVID-19 infection was significantly higher than the 3.4 percent recorded in South Africa in mid-April, R&D analyst Teneta Ncube told Reuters Health by telephone.

“Given the very high proportion of cases found in urban settings, we think the pattern of infection in urban settings remains probable,” she said by email.

The rise in COVID-19 cases in South America, several of which were detected in Africa, coincided with a widening class divide between urban and rural among South Asians and Indians, Sgarcy said.

“People who live in South Asia are more vulnerable because of their higher density of infected healthcare facilities, relative luxury of travel and tourism, and lower CHR[birth control]Footnote B space in rural areas,” she wrote in an email.