Why is the mortality rate of the new crown in Africa low? The answer is here

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According to a report by the Overseas Chinese in Africa Weekly, recently, Zambia University Institute of Economics and Social Research Researchers wrote an article in the media reviewing WHO and ZambiaMinistry of HealthIn the first half of this year, he predicted the new crown epidemic cases in Africa, and analyzed from his perspective why Africa did not have the high infection rate and high mortality rate as officially predicted. The following are his views,

On April 17, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) predicted that by October 17, 2020, cases of new coronary pneumonia in Africa may Reach 10 million in six months. On July 22, 2020, the Minister of Health of Zambia, Chitalu Chilufya, told the country through the parliament that by August 2020, there may be 900 to 1,000 deaths of new coronary pneumonia patients in Zambia every day.

WHO and Chilufya were both proved to be completely wrong, and the gap between prediction and reality is shocking. The question is; why is the difference between the actual data and the forecast so large? In this article, I would like to elaborate on some of the factors I have observed that have contributed to the low infection rate and low mortality rate of COVID-19 on the African continent.

The first case of new coronary pneumonia on the African continent was held on February 14, 2020 in Egypt report, followed by a report in Algeria on February 25, 2020.

The first case in sub-Saharan Africa was on February 28 in Nigeria. Zambia reported its first case of twins on March 18. On March 11, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Gebrayes, classified the new crown pneumonia epidemic as a global pandemic. As of April 1, 2020, 46 sub-Saharan African countries have reported confirmed cases of new coronary pneumonia.

On May 5th, WHO made its latest forecast, covering the 12-month period from May 2020 to April 2021. The statement said that 83,000-190,000 people on the African continent may die from the virus. It also emphasized that if containment measures fail, 29 to 44 million people may be infected in the first year of the pandemic.

As ​​far as Zambia is concerned, Dr. Chiruya, Minister of Health, delivered a speech to the country through Parliament on July 21, 2020, warning that according to the epidemiological model, The peak of the new crown pneumonia in Zambia will be August. He predicted that if people do not adhere to strict preventive measures, by August, about 900 to 1,000 Zambians may die from new coronary pneumonia every day, and the cumulative death toll may exceed 130,000.

At the time of his statement, the surge in the number of new coronary pneumonia cases and deaths was partly due to changes in weather and possible mutations in the virus, when two lawmakers had just died from the new crown. Complications of pneumonia and new coronary pneumonia. According to the latest statistics, the cumulative number of deaths from the new crown in Zambia is only about 360, which is far from the number of 130,000 by the Minister of Health.

Compared with other parts of the world, what are the reasons for the low incidence and mortality of new coronary pneumonia in Africa? We cannot say that this is an effective health care system and facilities, because Africa has the least. Nor can we say that it strictly complies with the prevention and containment measures for the new crown pneumonia, because most countries, including Zambia, have almost no such measures. So, what is the reason?

The first and most important argument is that Africa’s much younger population accounts for a large part of this puzzle. Data from many countries show that the risk of dying from new coronary pneumonia for people over 80 is 100 times that of people in their 20s. A group of Kenya researchers used a specific example to illustrate this point.

As ​​of September 30, the United Kingdom has reported 41,980 new coronary pneumonia-specific deaths, while Kenya has reported 691 cases. The UK has a population of approximately 66 million, with an average age of 40, while Kenya’s population is 51 million with an average age of 20. In further mathematical regression analysis, the researchers still concluded that even if the age structure of the United Kingdom is the same as that of Kenya, its death toll will still be around 5,000, while Kenya’s death toll at that time was 700.

So the question is:what causes this imbalance?

This leads to the second assumption:the weather. A recent large multi-country study in Europe reported that higher temperatures and humidity have led to a sharp drop in the death rate of the new crown. The authors hypothesized that this might be because our respiratory tract clearing mechanism works better in warmer and humid conditions.

However, there is a problem with the relationship between weather and COVID-19. Although a systematic review of global data confirms that warm and humid climate seems to reduce the spread of new coronary pneumonia, this single variable alone cannot explain the complexity of disease transmission.

It is worth noting that the weather in Africa has changed quite a bit. In some North African countries and some South Asian countries, especially India, higher infection cases often invalidate weather arguments. Approximately 68%of African cases are from the following five countries-South Africa (873,679 cases), Morocco (327,528 cases), Egypt (122,609 cases), Ethiopia (117,542 cases) and Tunisia (113,241 cases). These are mostly relatively warm and humid countries.

The inability to trace the cause of death in Africa and the low detection rate of COVID-19 may also be a factor. However, Kenyan scientists cited a counterexample. Initially, the country had almost no testing capabilities and specific death registrations. However, Kenya quickly improved its testing capabilities and paid special attention to detecting and recording deaths. This ruled out the low mortality rate due to the low detection rate and the inability to trace the cause of death.

Other factors include, due to previous exposure to other pathogens or vaccination of “BCG” (an anti-tuberculosis vaccine provided at birth in most African countries), Will produce a protective immune response. A large-scale analysis involving 55 countries (63%of the world’s population) showed that there is a significant correlation between increased BCG vaccination rates at a young age and low mortality from new coronary pneumonia.

Other factors include the relatively low incidence of pre-existing diseases in Africa, such as non-communicable diseases, hypertension, cancer, and diabetes.

Although the need for more research on the low fatality rate of COVID-19 in Africa is indisputable, the modeling system is estimating the epidemic on the African continent, Especially the communication failure in Zambia is confusing. In all fairness, our Ministry of Health owes us an explanation. (Original title:Zambia||Why is the death rate of the new crown in Africa low? The answer is here.)


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