Coronavirus (COVID-19) Collection
- Our study suggests that official data underestimate COVID-19 transmission. Using sVNTs to estimate immunity in Malawi is feasible and revealed considerable post-infection immunity in our cohort. Subclinical infection and transmission are probably a game-changer in surveillance, mitigation and vaccination strategies.
- Since its emergence in December 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected millions of people around the world and caused over 3.9 million officially registered deaths (WHO, 2021). From the onset of this pandemic, the pathogenic aspects in the pediatric population have remained less clear, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, where specialists' initial projections estimated a high number of cases and deaths (Cabore et al., 2020).
- As of June 30th, 2021, the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has resulted in 180 million COVID-19 cases (with 3.9 million deaths) reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Of these, 5.4 million cases with 141,000 deaths have been reported from Africa (WHO Afro 2021). Currently, 150,000 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Zambia, with 2,100 deaths (WHO COVID-19 dashboard – Zambia 2021).
- The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has caused 171,292,827 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 3,687,589 deaths globally as of June 4th, 2021. Of these 3,530,845 cases occurred in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with 131,630 deaths (WHO Coronavirus dashboard, 2021; Africa CDC - Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), 2021). Zambia reported its first COVID-19 case in March 2020 and has since recorded 96, 563 cases with 1,284 deaths as of June 4th, 202 (World Health Organisation, 2021). Eighteen months after the first COVID-19 cases were reported from Wuhan, China, several major knowledge gaps on COVID-19 pathology and pathogenesis remain, particularly in SSA.
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China in 2019, has resulted in an unprecedented global pandemic of respiratory illness, termed ‘coronavirus disease 2019’ (COVID-19) (Huang et al., 2020; Zhu et al., 2020; Wang et al., 2020). As of 3 February 2021, more than 104 million cases of COVID-19 and 2.26 million COVID-19-related deaths have been reported worldwide (World Health Organization, 2021). The first case of COVID-19 in Ethiopia was reported on 13 March 2020, and there had been 138,861 cases of COVID-19 and 2116 (1.5%) COVID-19-related deaths as of 3 February 2021.
- At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was observed that infection was less prevalent in children, with a 2% prevalence for people aged ≤19 years among a Chinese cohort of 72314 cases. (Wu, MacGoogan, 2020) Children were also reported to have a lower risk for severe COVID-19 disease requiring critical care in North America. (Shekerdemian et al., 2020) As the pandemic progressed, reports from European and North American countries highlighted the occurrence of a hyper, multisystem inflammatory process in children that had features like Kawasaki disease (KD) (WHO, 2020).
- Worldwide, healthcare workers (HCWs) are the most valuable resource during epidemics, but they are also tremendously vulnerable as they work at the front-line (Anonymous, 2020; Chou et al., 2020). While the general population has been advised to stay at home to adhere to social distancing rules, HCWs go to work in hospitals, placing themselves and their family contacts at high risk from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- Towards the end of December 2018, Chinese authorities, through the World Health Organization office in China, made the world known of a new pathogen responsible for a series of pneumonia associated infections in Wuhan, Hubei province (WHO 2020a). The pathogen was later identified to be a novel coronavirus closely related to the severe acute respiratory syndrome virus (SARS), with a possible bat origin (Zhou et al., 2020). The World Health Organization named the disease COVID-19 (Chan et al., 2020), and later declared it a pandemic on 11th March 2020, prompting concerted efforts towards prevention and control worldwide (WHO 2020a).