The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa, Questions, fears, and hopes

Ella Larissa Ndoricyimpaye, Joseph Tuyishimire, Sophie Vanwambeke, Léon Mutesa, Elias Nyandwi, Nadine Rujeni, Jean-Paul Coutelier Published in the journal : May 2020 Category : Pays émergents

Summary :

The frequency of confirmed cases, along with subsequent deaths due to SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, appears to be lower in developing countries, especially Sub-Saharan Africa. This is most probably due to the delayed epidemic outbreak in this part of the world, where several local elements may modify the epidemic’s course. Indeed, the less favorable socio-economic conditions associated with promiscuity, along with health services already stretched to the utmost by several other diseases, as well as the frequency of aggravating diseases in some countries may at times induce a difficult health situation where it is difficult to be properly prepared in order to correctly respond to the outbreak. On the other hand, the populations’ age pyramid, as well as their potential genetic traits and co-infections’ immuno-regulatory mechanisms could effectively decrease the infection’s severity. To lessen the direct and indirect impacts of the epidemic in these countries, it is crucial to strengthen their diagnostic and treatment capacities, using a thorough scientific analysis of local risk factors most likely to be improve our understanding of this pandemic.

Key Words

Africa, epidemiology, genetic factors, immune microenvironment

What is already known about the topic?

The frequency of COVID-19-detected cases and deaths appears to be lower in Sub-Saharan African countries.

What does this article bring up for us?

Both local aggravating and protecting factors are likely to modulate the epidemic’s course in Sub-Saharan Africa.