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Experts Can't Work Out Why Coronavirus Is Spreading So Slowly in Africa


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Since the coronavirus pandemic began spreading across the world, experts have been fairly united in the belief that it's an extremely serious threat.

But there's one part of the world that's dividing opinion in the public health community: Africa.

Other continents, from North America to Europe and Asia, have struggled to contain the pandemic, with cases continuing to rise everywhere outside China - yet Africa has registered a tiny number of confirmed cases by comparison.

France 24 reported that on 1 March Africa only had three confirmed cases. According to the most up-to-date figures from the World Health Organisation, this number is currently 101 across 11 African nations (Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia and Togo). This is a tiny figure in such a populous continent, given that there's over 500 in the UK alone and 10,000 in Italy.

There could be numerous factors influencing Africa's low tally. It could be faulty detection, climatic factors or simple fluke. But the low rate in a continent with infamously fragile health systems continues to perplex (and worry) some experts.

Shortly after the coronavirus appeared, there were warnings of the virus spreading quickly in Africa because of the continent's close commercial links with Beijing and its fragile and inconsistent medical services. On 22 February Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of WHO, told African Union health ministers gathered in Ethiopia:

"Our biggest concern continues to be the potential for Covid-19 to spread in countries with weaker health systems."

In a study published in The Lancet medical journal, a team of scientists identified Algeria, Egypt and South Africa as the most likely to import new coronavirus cases into Africa. Thankfully, though, the study also noted that these countries have the best prepared health systems in the continent.

But other experts admit that "nobody knows" why coronavirus hasn't become more widespread in Africa.
Professor Thumbi Ndung'u, from the African Institute for Health Research in Durban, said:

"Perhaps there is simply not that much travel between Africa and China."

But Ethiopan Airlines - Africa's largest airline - never even suspended flights to China. Chinese airlines even resumed flying to Kenya, and no spike in cases was detected.

Africa's hot climate could be a factor.

Professor Yazdan Yazdanpanah, head of the infectious diseases department at Bichat hospital in Paris, said:

"Perhaps the virus doesn't spread in the African ecosystem, we don't know."

But Professor Rodney Adam, of the infection control task force at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, doesn't agree.

"There is no current evidence to indicate that climate affects transmission."

"While it is true that for certain infections there may be genetic differences in susceptibility...there is no current evidence to that effect for Covid-19."

Africa's history might have made it well-equipped to respond to viruses and diseases.

The Lancet study found that Nigeria is one of the best prepared in the continent to handle an epidemic like coronavirus.

Mathias Altmann, an epidemiologist at the University of Bordeaux, told France 24 that Africa's history of responding to epidemics might have made them more adept at how to stop viruses from spreading.

Neighbouring countries are less able to respond than Nigeria. But Altmann says that also an advantage: that people are often outdoors. He said:

"Viruses like this one prefer closed spaces and are less likely to spread in a rural setting."

Whatever the reason, it's a hugely positive thing that, so far, Africa seems to be responding effectively to the pandemic. And it's fascinating that sometimes even experts can't agree on exactly why something is happening.



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So what our scientist and medics advised us was to avoid using cold food. Corona Virus mostly lurks in cold place and cannot survive the hot condition/ weather/ climate. And Africa by nature is a hotter place on Earth compared to other places. I guess that's what preventing the spread of the virus across the continent. And there is hope for other countries too. When summer will arrive the virus will auto start dying as it cannot survive above 20 degree Centigrade. It will then simply die away and disappear the way it transferred to humans. I hope it happened so because that is the only this virus can be be dealt with. And besides, UK Scientists have claimed to prepare a vaccine for this virus and they also say that it will be ready for Human use in June, probably going through lab trails on animals. So sit tight people and relax. We will soon overcome it one way or another. Both the cure and hot weather is just around the corner.

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It could simply be down to the poor economy making a very low level of people movement between areas unlike in western countries.

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15 hours ago, xkryptonx said:

When summer will arrive the virus will auto start dying as it cannot survive above 20 degree Centigrade.


That can't be right. If the virus was destroyed at 20 degrees Celsius, it couldn't spread in the human body. Or in many buildings with room temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius... Do you mean 40 degrees Celsius?

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8 hours ago, cosy said:

I would opt for the version of Climate.

Africa is warm or hot enough, I believe, that the virus cant survive long under these conditions.

There are many Chinese or chines companies(if you want to attribute the virus to the Chinese) in Africa, and they have many almost more movements in Africa than elsewhere.

Let us hope someone gets to the roots of this Virus, It is stronger than the strongest BOMBS made today. It can get you anywhere at any given time, without any warning.

For this poor continent, I pray they stay out of this as long as it is possible, otherwise, it will be a big dilemma 

I agree with what you said. I just wanted to add the fact that many Africans go to china to Study as well. 

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Spain is in lockdown and the current temperature is around 60 degrees fahrenheit/ 16 degree Celcius.

Edited by Arachnoid
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8 hours ago, Threepwood said:


That can't be right. If the virus was destroyed at 20 degrees Celsius, it couldn't spread in the human body. Or in many buildings with room temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius... Do you mean 40 degrees Celsius?

The fact is already stated which you don't seems to get is that it is spreading at a slow rate in Africa which is warmer place compared to other continents and countries out there.


Edit: @ThreepwoodYou may also know that there are other factors that they said outside human body. In the the air. And You should know that no virus is dangerous unless it enters human body. Once exposed to air it does not survives in high temperature. If you have any doubt you can google around to add more to your knowledge about behavior of this virus. I was expecting this question from you. So the answer is  simply: there are other factors which are also important for virus's survival and you may know that they are not classified as living organism to the date because of their peculiar behavior that they behave both as living and non living thing. Crystallization is what make it like chemical. Non-living. And DNA, RNA makes it living. So When it is inside human body the it gets favorable conditions. Switch to Living mode and wreck a havoc. And when outside., its property changes it acts as non living. properties changes again. And hence the they cannot survive above 20-25 degree Celsius. 


7 hours ago, Threepwood said:

@xkryptonx Yeah... I don't get it... Inside the human body: about 37 degrees Celsius

You said "it cannot survive above 20 degree Centigrade."


And in Russia there are 63 confirmed cases according to this map


South Africa: 51 confirmed cases

63 in Russia: Russia is damn colder than Africa. And the population of Russia is very small compared to Africa. It maybe the largest country in the World, but the population-wise, it is simply not. So Emergence of 51 cases is alarming. Like mentioned before it is a THREAT FOR COLDER COUNTRIES NOT WARM / HOTTER COUNTRIES / REGIONS.


51 In Africa Continent: Africa is warmer, and besides WE DO NOT HAVE SUMMER YET. And population of Africa continent is way greater then the Russia. So 51 cases is very low ratio. 


So i would let you do your googling, math practice, and some Virology research to figure out this mystery for yourself if you still are missing the point of this whole conversation.

Edited by xkryptonx
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@xkryptonx Yeah... I don't get it... Inside the human body: about 37 degrees Celsius

You said "it cannot survive above 20 degree Centigrade."


And in Russia there are 63 confirmed cases according to this map:


... I don't think it's very warm in Russia...


South Africa: 51 confirmed cases

Edited by Threepwood
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