Researchers analyzing blood samples from blood donors throughout Kenya estimate that by June 2020, when many COVID-19 deaths had been anticipated in the nation however hadn’t occurred at such scale, 4.3% of Kenyans had antibodies to the virus. This implies SARS-CoV-2 publicity has been extra in depth than indicated by case-based surveillance in Kenya, the authors say.
Their outcomes will assist information the pandemic response in a area the place financial results of lockdown — together with for the best way it disrupts routine medical care to girls and youngsters — have confirmed significantly debilitating. Africa accounts for 17% of the worldwide inhabitants however by late July 2020, regardless of proof of a number of months of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, it accounted for less than 5% of the worldwide COVID-19 circumstances and three% of the worldwide COVID-19 deaths.
In Kenya, the primary case of SARS-CoV-2 was reported in mid-March 2020, adopted shortly by the establishment of lockdowns. By finish of July, nonetheless, nationwide surveillance recorded 20,636 circumstances and 341 deaths in Kenya — a rise notably slower than the epidemic in components of China, Europe, and the US.
In search of to know this sample, Sophie Uyoga and colleagues carried out one of the primary field-based seroprevalence surveys in Africa. They analyzed samples collected from greater than 3,000 blood transfusion donors from late April to mid-June 2020. Utilizing a extremely particular assay, the authors report a crude seroprevalence of 5.6% in this group. Adjusting for the age-sex construction of Kenya, the authors estimate an total seroprevalence of 4.3%, peaking in youthful age teams, which is in line with different research.
The authors supply a number of potential explanations for why Kenya has seen comparatively decrease circumstances and deaths whilst SARS-CoV-2 publicity seems appreciable, together with the steep demographic age-pyramid in Kenya, which ends in a smaller susceptible age group. The outcomes of their examine, say the authors, help “the impression that illness could also be attenuated in Africa.”
Reference: “Seroprevalence of anti–SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in Kenyan blood donors” by Sophie Uyoga, Ifedayo M. O. Adetifa, Henry Ok. Karanja, James Nyagwange, James Tuju, Perpetual Wanjiku, Rashid Aman, Mercy Mwangangi, Patrick Amoth, Kadondi Kasera, Wangari Ng’ang’a, Charles Rombo, Christine Yegon, Khamisi Kithi, Elizabeth Odhiambo, Thomas Rotich, Irene Orgut, Sammy Kihara, Mark Otiende, Christian Bottomley, Zonia N. Mupe, Eunice W. Kagucia, Katherine E. Gallagher, Anthony Etyang, Shirine Voller, John N. Gitonga, Daisy Mugo, Charles N. Agoti, Edward Otieno, Leonard Ndwiga, Teresa Lambe, Daniel Wright, Edwine Barasa, Benjamin Tsofa, Philip Bejon, Lynette I. Ochola-Oyier, Ambrose Agweyu, J. Anthony G. Scott and George M. Warimwe, 11 November 2020, Science.