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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2494, 2022 05 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890179

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the fastest evolving pandemics in recent history. As such, the SARS-CoV-2 viral evolution needs to be continuously tracked. This study sequenced 1123 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from patient isolates (121 from arriving travellers and 1002 from communities) to track the molecular evolution and spatio-temporal dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 variants in Ghana. The data show that initial local transmission was dominated by B.1.1 lineage, but the second wave was overwhelmingly driven by the Alpha variant. Subsequently, an unheralded variant under monitoring, B.1.1.318, dominated transmission from April to June 2021 before being displaced by Delta variants, which were introduced into community transmission in May 2021. Mutational analysis indicated that variants that took hold in Ghana harboured transmission enhancing and immune escape spike substitutions. The observed rapid viral evolution demonstrates the potential for emergence of novel variants with greater mutational fitness as observed in other parts of the world.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Mutation , Pandemics , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
2.
Ghana medical journal ; 55(2 Suppl):38-47, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1710960

ABSTRACT

Summary The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in Ghana is part of an ongoing pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Ghana on 12th March 2020. COVID-19 was consequently declared a Public Health Emergency of National Concern, triggering several response actions, including enhanced surveillance, case detection, case management and contact tracing, closure of borders, suspension of international flights, ban on social gatherings and closure of schools. Preparedness and response plans were activated for implementation at the national, regional, district and community levels. Ghana's Strategic approaches were to limit and stop the importation of cases;detect and contain cases early;expand infrastructure, logistics and capacity to provide quality healthcare for the sick;minimise disruption to social and economic life and increase the domestic capacity of all sectors to deal with existing and future shocks. The health sector strategic frame focused on testing, treatment, and tracking. As of 31st December 2020, a total of 535,168 cases, including 335 deaths (CFR: 0.61%), have been confirmed with 53,928 recoveries and 905 active cases. All the regions have reported cases, with Greater Accra reporting the highest number. The response actions in Ghana have seen high-level political commitment, appropriate and timely decisions, and a careful balance of public health interventions with economic and socio-cultural dynamics. Efforts are ongoing to intensify non-pharmaceutical interventions, sustain the gains made so far and introduce COVID-19 vaccines to reduce the public health burden of the disease in Ghana Funding None declared

3.
Ghana Med J ; 55(2 Suppl): 38-47, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502651

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in Ghana is part of an ongoing pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Ghana on 12th March 2020. COVID-19 was consequently declared a Public Health Emergency of National Concern, triggering several response actions, including enhanced surveillance, case detection, case management and contact tracing, closure of borders, suspension of international flights, ban on social gatherings and closure of schools. Preparedness and response plans were activated for implementation at the national, regional, district and community levels. Ghana's Strategic approaches were to limit and stop the importation of cases; detect and contain cases early; expand infrastructure, logistics and capacity to provide quality healthcare for the sick; minimise disruption to social and economic life and increase the domestic capacity of all sectors to deal with existing and future shocks. The health sector strategic frame focused on testing, treatment, and tracking. As of 31st December 2020, a total of 535,168 cases, including 335 deaths (CFR: 0.61%), have been confirmed with 53,928 recoveries and 905 active cases. All the regions have reported cases, with Greater Accra reporting the highest number. The response actions in Ghana have seen high-level political commitment, appropriate and timely decisions, and a careful balance of public health interventions with economic and socio-cultural dynamics. Efforts are ongoing to intensify non-pharmaceutical interventions, sustain the gains made so far and introduce COVID-19 vaccines to reduce the public health burden of the disease in Ghana. FUNDING: None declared.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Ghana Med J ; 54(4 Suppl): 71-76, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436197

ABSTRACT

Across the globe, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is causing distress with governments doing everything in their power to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) to prevent morbidity and mortality. Actions are being implemented to keep health care systems from being overstretched and to curb the outbreak. Any policy responses aimed at slowing down the spread of the virus and mitigating its immediate effects on health care systems require a firm basis of information about the absolute number of currently infected people, growth rates, and locations/hotspots of infections. The only way to obtain this base of information is by conducting numerous tests in a targeted way. Currently, in Ghana, there is a centralized testing approach, that takes 4-5 days for samples to be shipped and tested at central reference laboratories with results communicated to the district, regional and national stakeholders. This delay in diagnosis increases the risk of ongoing transmission in communities and vulnerable institutions. We have validated, evaluated and deployed an innovative diagnostic tool on a mobile laboratory platform to accelerate the COVID-19 testing. A preliminary result of 74 samples from COVID-19 suspected cases has a positivity rate of 12% with a turn-around time of fewer than 3 hours from sample taking to reporting of results, significantly reducing the waiting time from days to hours, enabling expedient response by the health system for contact tracing to reduce transmission and additionally improving case management. FUNDING: Test kits were provided by AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine (AngloGold Ashanti Health Foundation). The American Leprosy Mission donated the PCR machine, and the mobile laboratory van was funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN). AAS, YAA was supported by (PANDORA-ID-NET RIA2016E-1609) and ROP supported by EDCTP Senior Fellowship (TMA2016SF), both funded by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP2) programme which is supported under Horizon 2020, the European Union.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Mobile Health Units , Population Surveillance , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Contact Tracing , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Early Diagnosis , Female , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Time Factors , Young Adult
5.
Ghana Med J ; 54(4 Suppl): 39-45, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436193

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In high-income countries, mortality related to hospitalized patients with the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is approximately 4-5%. However, data on COVID-19 admissions from sub-Saharan Africa are scanty. OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinical profile and determinants of outcomes of patients with confirmed COVID-19 admitted at a hospital in Ghana. METHODS: A prospective study involving 25 patients with real time polymerase chain reaction confirmed COVID-19 admitted to the treatment centre of the University Hospital, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana from 1st June to 27th July, 2020. They were managed and followed up for outcomes. Data were analysed descriptively, and predictors of mortality assessed using a multivariate logistic regression modelling. RESULTS: The mean age of the patients was 59.3 ± 20.6 years, and 14 (56%) were males. The main symptoms at presentation were breathlessness (68%) followed by fever (56%). The cases were categorized as mild (6), moderate (6), severe (10) and critical (3). Hypertension was the commonest comorbidity present in 72% of patients. Medications used in patient management included dexamethasone (68%), azithromycin (96%), and hydroxychloroquine (4%). Five of 25 cases died (Case fatality ratio 20%). Increasing age and high systolic blood pressure were associated with mortality. CONCLUSION: Case fatality in this sample of hospitalized COVID-19 patients was high. Thorough clinical assessment, severity stratification, aggressive management of underlying co-morbidities and standardized protocols incountry might improve outcomes. FUNDING: None declared.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Blood Pressure , COVID-19/virology , Comorbidity , Dyspnea/mortality , Dyspnea/virology , Female , Fever/mortality , Fever/virology , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Hypertension/mortality , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Tertiary Care Centers
6.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257450, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416901

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), which started in late December, 2019, has spread to affect 216 countries and territories around the world. Globally, the number of cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection has been growing exponentially. There is pressure on countries to flatten the curves and break transmission. Most countries are practicing partial or total lockdown, vaccination, massive education on hygiene, social distancing, isolation of cases, quarantine of exposed and various screening approaches such as temperature and symptom-based screening to break the transmission. Some studies outside Africa have found the screening for fever using non-contact thermometers to lack good sensitivity for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection. The aim of this study was to determine the usefulness of clinical symptoms in accurately predicting a final diagnosis of COVID-19 disease in the Ghanaian setting. METHOD: The study analysed screening and test data of COVID-19 suspected, probable and contacts for the months of March to August 2020. A total of 1,986 participants presenting to Tamale Teaching hospital were included in the study. Logistic regression and receiver operator characteristics (ROC) analysis were carried out. RESULTS: Overall SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate was 16.8%. Those with symptoms had significantly higher positivity rate (21.6%) compared with asymptomatic (17.0%) [chi-squared 15.5, p-value, <0.001]. Patients that were positive for SARS-CoV-2 were 5.9 [3.9-8.8] times more likely to have loss of sense of smell and 5.9 [3.8-9.3] times more likely to having loss of sense of taste. Using history of fever as a screening tool correctly picked up only 14.8% of all true positives of SARS-CoV-2 infection and failed to pick up 86.2% of positive cases. Using cough alone would detect 22.4% and miss 87.6%. Non-contact thermometer used alone, as a screening tool for COVID-19 at a cut-off of 37.8 would only pick 4.8% of positive SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. CONCLUSION: The use of fever alone or other symptoms individually [or in combination] as a screening tool for SARS-CoV-2 infection is not worthwhile based on ROC analysis. Use of temperature check as a COVID-19 screening tool to allow people into public space irrespective of the temperature cut-off is of little benefit in diagnosing infected persons. We recommend the use of facemask, hand hygiene, social distancing as effective means of preventing infection.


Subject(s)
Body Temperature , COVID-19 , Mass Screening/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Ghana/epidemiology , Hand Hygiene , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Masks , Middle Aged , Physical Distancing , Young Adult
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