Wafa Al-Sadr, chair of global health at Columbia University, says there is something “mysterious” going on in Africa that is surprising scientists.
“Africa does not have the vaccines or the resources that are in Europe and the United States to fight the coronavirus, but they are doing it in a better way it seems,” she told the news agency. AP.
“New coronavirus cases and deaths reported decreased last week in the Africa region. Weekly cases on the continent are now lower than observed before the last infection boom, which began in May 2021.” A case report from the World Health Organization for week 46.
In fact, infection rates have been declining since July. According to the Associated Press, less than six percent in Africa have been vaccinated.
Researchers stress that it is very difficult to obtain accurate data on the Covid-19 virus, especially in African countries with irregular monitoring, according to the Associated Press. He also warns that the trend could easily reverse.
But for months, the World Health Organization has described Africa as one of the least affected regions in the world in its weekly reports on epidemics.
There are many reasons why SARS-CoV-2 spreads at different speeds and affects differently on different continents, Assistant Director of Health Espen Rostrop told Dagbladet.
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In Europe, high travel activity, a relatively aging population, and frequent indoor contact during the winter months have all contributed to widespread infection and hospitalization. He adds that the picture in African countries is dominated by young people who are less susceptible to diseases and local conditions that limit the spread of infection further.
The researchers spoke of AP to also point to a lower degree of urbanization and a tendency to spend more time outdoors as possible factors.
Possible impact of malaria
There are many immune-related conditions that are poorly mapped to the coronavirus. Nakstad says that the importance of having a previous parasitic disease, such as malaria and other exposure to microbes, can make the immune system more adapted to Corona infection in African countries.
The AP also wrote that researchers working in Uganda found that coronavirus patients with a high rate of exposure to malaria were less likely to suffer serious illness or death than people with a low history of disease.
Studies are looking into the possibility of genetic causes as well.
– But the virus itself may have also developed in different directions with different characteristics on different continents, which are currently not well mapped. Therefore, there are interesting questions being asked, and it is important to get an answer to them in the future, says Nakstad.
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According to the World Health Organization, Africa has a total of more than six million cases and more than 150,000 deaths linked to corona have been recorded.
From November 8 to 14, 9,960 cases were reported in the region. This is a 47 percent decrease compared to the previous week, according to the WHO’s situation report.
The report says that even as coronavirus-related infections and deaths decline, the risk of a new wave near the end of the year, with travel and the holiday season, remains.
– WHO teams are working to modernize and enhance the capacity of the laboratories and to secure the oxygen supply. The World Health Organization is also providing support to countries with low vaccine intakes, in an effort to increase vaccination coverage in the region.
Eight countries in the region saw an increase of 20 percent or more in weekly cases, compared to the previous week. Meanwhile, 26 countries reported a decrease of 20 percent or more in the number of new cases compared to the previous week.
South Africa, Ethiopia, Algeria, Kenya and Mauritius account for more than 50 percent of cases.
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