Scientists Dumbfounded After Extremely Low Cases of Virus in Africa, Here’s Two Reasons Why
Scientists are panicking as they can’t seem to understand why African countries are having such a low number of cases from the virus.
The vaccination rate of the entire continent is only about 6%, yet they have been largely unaffected by this pandemic.
“Africa doesn’t have the vaccines and the resources to fight COVID-19 that they have in Europe and the U.S., but somehow they seem to be doing better,” said the chair of global health at Columbia University, Wafaa El-Sadr.
Fewer than 6% of people in Africa are vaccinated. For months, the WHO has described Africa as “one of the least affected regions in the world” in its weekly pandemic reports.
Some researchers say the continent’s younger population — the average age is 20 versus about 43 in Western Europe — in addition to their lower rates of urbanization and tendency to spend time outdoors, may have spared it the more lethal effects of the virus so far. Several studies are probing whether there might be other explanations, including genetic reasons or past infection with parasitic diseases.
On Friday, researchers working in Uganda said they found COVID-19 patients with high rates of exposure to malaria were less likely to suffer severe disease or death than people with little history of the disease.
“We went into this project thinking we would see a higher rate of negative outcomes in people with a history of malaria infections because that’s what was seen in patients co-infected with malaria and Ebola,” said Jane Achan, a senior research advisor at the Malaria Consortium and a co-author of the study. “We were actually quite surprised to see the opposite — that malaria may have a protective effect.”
If you ask me, it doesn’t take a genius to figure this one out. I won’t explicitly say what I believe the reasoning is for this low number of cases in Africa and people who have had malaria, but all you have to do is think about what they use to treat malaria. Scientist can pretend like there is no connection, but that is contrary to around 300 studies that suggest otherwise.