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Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 2021 Mar 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1122145


The first case of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) was reported by Nigeria on February 27, 2020. Whereas case counts in the entire region remain considerably less than those being reported by individual countries in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, variation in preparedness and response capacity as well as in data availability has raised concerns about undetected transmission events in the SSA region. To capture epidemiological details related to early transmission events into and within countries, a line list was developed from publicly available data on institutional websites, situation reports, press releases, and social media accounts. The availability of indicators-gender, age, travel history, date of arrival in country, reporting date of confirmation, and how detected-for each imported case was assessed. We evaluated the relationship between the time to first reported importation and the Global Health Security Index (GHSI) overall score; 13,201 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported by 48 countries in SSA during the 54 days following the first known introduction to the region. Of the 2,516 cases for which travel history information was publicly available, 1,129 (44.9%) were considered importation events. Imported cases tended to be male (65.0%), with a median age of 41.0 years (range: 6 weeks-88 years; IQR: 31-54 years). A country's time to report its first importation was not related to the GHSI overall score, after controlling for air traffic. Countries in SSA generally reported with less publicly available detail over time and tended to have greater information on imported than local cases.

Int J Infect Dis ; 101: 194-200, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-796226


BACKGROUND: Absolute numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths reported to date in the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region have been significantly lower than those across the Americas, Asia and Europe. As a result, there has been limited information about the demographic and clinical characteristics of deceased cases in the region, as well as the impacts of different case management strategies. METHODS: Data from deceased cases reported across SSA through 10 May 2020 and from hospitalized cases in Burkina Faso through 15 April 2020 were analyzed. Demographic, epidemiological and clinical information on deceased cases in SSA was derived through a line-list of publicly available information and, for cases in Burkina Faso, from aggregate records at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Tengandogo in Ouagadougou. A synthetic case population was probabilistically derived using distributions of age, sex and underlying conditions from populations of West African countries to assess individual risk factors and treatment effect sizes. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to evaluate the adjusted odds of survival for patients receiving oxygen therapy or convalescent plasma, based on therapeutic effectiveness observed for other respiratory illnesses. RESULTS: Across SSA, deceased cases for which demographic data were available were predominantly male (63/103, 61.2%) and aged >50 years (59/75, 78.7%). In Burkina Faso, specifically, the majority of deceased cases either did not seek care at all or were hospitalized for a single day (59.4%, 19/32). Hypertension and diabetes were often reported as underlying conditions. After adjustment for sex, age and underlying conditions in the synthetic case population, the odds of mortality for cases not receiving oxygen therapy were significantly higher than for those receiving oxygen, such as due to disruptions to standard care (OR 2.07; 95% CI 1.56-2.75). Cases receiving convalescent plasma had 50% reduced odds of mortality than those who did not (95% CI 0.24-0.93). CONCLUSIONS: Investment in sustainable production and maintenance of supplies for oxygen therapy, along with messaging around early and appropriate use for healthcare providers, caregivers and patients could reduce COVID-19 deaths in SSA. Further investigation into convalescent plasma is warranted until data on its effectiveness specifically in treating COVID-19 becomes available. The success of supportive or curative clinical interventions will depend on earlier treatment seeking, such that community engagement and risk communication will be critical components of the response.

COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/mortality , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adolescent , Adult , Africa South of the Sahara , Aged , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Asia/epidemiology , Burkina Faso/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Child, Preschool , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Young Adult