Download this article in PDF

The Body Immune Response Against COVID-19 in Africa


On 31 December 2019, pneumonia of unknown cause was detected in Wuhan, China. Later it was named “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome” [1]. On 30 January 2020, the outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern [1,2]. Later on, WHO named this pneumonia a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the virus was named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARSCOV- 2) [3].

Infectious diseases like influenza have been claiming millions of lives. The first outbreak of influenza known as Spanish flu occurred in 1918 and by 1920, the pandemic had infected about one-third of the world’s population and resulted in an estimated 50 million deaths [4].

Africa is known to face a double burden of chronic and infectious diseases attributed to factors like under-funded healthcare facilities, poor hygiene, malnutrition, and overcrowded households [5], making it hard to contain outbreaks on Africa. However, Africa has not suffered a great deal of COVID-19 in terms of severity and prognosis compared to the rest of the continents [2,6,7].

In early April 2020, the African region had fewer than 6,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19, a significantly lower count than the 112,000 cases reported in the Western Pacific and the 655,000 cases reported in Europe [6]. The puzzle that remains to solve is finding the source of the claim that Africans were more resistant to the first wave of COVID-19 or that when infected, they were less likely to suffer severe complications than other races [7]. Nevertheless, the World Health Organization has warned Africa to prepare for the worst of COVID-19 in the near future [6].

Therefore, while the scientific community is focused on developing vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2, it is imperative to understand clearly the body immune response against this virus [8].

Category: Opinion

Download this article in PDF



RPHB Chat Room

You are: