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BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 445, 2022 03 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1724462


BACKGROUND: The first case of the novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) in West Africa was first confirmed in Nigeria in February 2020. Since then, several public health interventions and preventive measures have been implemented to curtail transmission of the causative agent, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Therefore, this study was performed to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of West Africans towards COVID-19. METHODS: An online survey was conducted between 29 September to 29 October 2020 among West Africans. Thirty-three survey questions were designed to collect sociodemographic data and participants' knowledge, attitude and perception towards COVID-19. The study targeted all West African nationals who were 18 years and above, and willing to participate in the study. Participants were either in-country or abroad. RESULTS: Overall, 1106 respondents (≥18 years) from 16 West African countries, with about 12.1% of them residing outside the West African subregion, participated in the survey. The respondents had an average COVID-19 knowledge score of 67.82 ± 8.31, with knowledge of the disease significantly associated with the country of residence (p = 0.00) and marginally (p = 0.05) so with settlement types (i.e., urban, suburban and rural areas). Most respondents (93.4%) could identify the main COVID-19 symptoms, and 73.20% would consult a healthcare professional if infected with SARS-CoV-2. Also, 75.2% of the respondents are willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, whereas 10.40% and 14.40% are unwilling and undecided, respectively. Perceptions of what constitute COVID-19 preventive measures were highly variable. Approximately, 8% of the respondents felt that their government responded excellently in managing the pandemic while a third felt that the response was just good. Also, more than half (54%) opined that isolation and treatment of COVID-19 patients is a way of curbing SARS-CoV-2 spread. CONCLUSIONS: Most West Africans have basic knowledge of COVID-19 and showed a positive attitude, with likely proactive practice towards the disease. However, results showed that these varied across countries and are influenced by the types of settlements. Therefore, the health and education authorities in various countries should develop focused measures capturing people in different settlements to improve their preventative measures when designing public health interventions for COVID-19 and any future epidemics or pandemics.

COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Perception , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
Exp Biol Med (Maywood) ; 246(8): 960-970, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-978882


The confirmed case fatality rate for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Ghana has dropped from a peak of 2% in March to be consistently below 1% since May 2020. Globally, case fatality rates have been linked to the strains/clades of circulating severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) within a specific country. Here we present 46 whole genomes of SARS-CoV-2 circulating in Ghana, from two separate sequencing batches: 15 isolates from the early epidemic (March 12-April 1 2020) and 31 from later time-points ( 25-27 May 2020). Sequencing was carried out on an Illumina MiSeq system following an amplicon-based enrichment for SARS-CoV-2 cDNA. After genome assembly and quality control processes, phylogenetic analysis showed that the first batch of 15 genomes clustered into five clades: 19A, 19B, 20A, 20B, and 20C, whereas the second batch of 31 genomes clustered to only three clades 19B, 20A, and 20B. The imported cases (6/46) mapped to circulating viruses in their countries of origin, namely, India, Hungary, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. All genomes mapped to the original Wuhan strain with high similarity (99.5-99.8%). All imported strains mapped to the European superclade A, whereas 5/9 locally infected individuals harbored the B4 clade, from the East Asian superclade B. Ghana appears to have 19B and 20B as the two largest circulating clades based on our sequence analyses. In line with global reports, the D614G linked viruses seem to be predominating. Comparison of Ghanaian SARS-CoV-2 genomes with global genomes indicates that Ghanaian strains have not diverged significantly from circulating strains commonly imported into Africa. The low level of diversity in our genomes may indicate lower levels of transmission, even for D614G viruses, which is consistent with the relatively low levels of infection reported in Ghana.

Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity