Novel coronavirus (131) When COVID-19 Comes to Africa (2)

16 March, 2020

Dear Tatjana Kobb,

Thank you very much for your post. Honestly, I am worried about the wave of misinformation and myths circulating more than the virus itself. This is a wake up call for Africa. As you rightly said, we are living in an interconnected world and what affects one part affects the others. The more reason global health remains a serious concern to all of us. This is the time for African leaders to draw the road map on how best to tackle this global problem.

My little advice is, African nations should be more proactive by engaging adequately, relevant health agencies and experts, to mount a strong defence against the spread of this virus. This includes countering misinformation by various sources, testing or screening wide range of people and not only contacts. By this I mean, people with mild symptoms and even no symptoms should be tested. As it is, early detection and isolation of persons, as well as early treatment of cases will yield good results.

This virus is circulating and it is a matter of time for Africa to begin to experience a surge in incidence. I am afraid that this coronavirus might be circulating undetected already. Scaling up screening is very important. A few studies have shown that the virus can stay as long as 37 days in the respiratory tract, before symptoms begin to manifest. Again, its pathogenesis may be affected by some biological factors of the host (individual), environment and that of the virus. This calls for more research in the region to understand the virus better,

in order to determine the best preventive and control measures.

Thank you.

Juliet Adamma Shenge, Ph.D

Juliet Shenge is a Clinical Virologist with the Dominican University, Ibadan, Nigeria. Her research focuses on Viral pathogenesis and molecular epidemiology of viral diseases of public health importance. She is a strong advocate for global health and international development.

Email: adshenge2006@gmail.com

Twitter: @JulietShenge

Orcid: orcid.org/0000-0003-1298-8522

HIFA Profile: Shenge Juliet Adamma is a doctor at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. Professional interests: Biomedical Research, Virology, Genomics and Antiviral research, Infectious diseases and Viral Oncology.

Email: adshenge2006 AT gmail.com