This article was originally published here
Int J Infect Dis. 2021 May 14:S1201-9712(21)00425-2. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2021.05.024. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: In Africa, the overall death toll from COVID-19 is reported to be low but there is few individual-level evidence on the severity of the disease. We report the clinical spectrum and outcome of patients monitored in COVID-19 care centers (CCC) in two West-African countries.
METHODS: Burkina Faso and Guinea set up referral CCCs to hospitalize all symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers, regardless of the severity of their symptoms. We report the data collected from hospitalized patients by November 2020.
RESULT: 1805 patients (64% men, median age 41) were admitted with COVID-19. Symptoms lasted for a median of 7 days (IQR 4-11). During hospitalization, 443 (25%) had at least once a SpO2 < 94%, 237 (13%) received oxygen and 266 (15%) corticosteroids. Mortality was 5% overall, and 1%, 5% and 14% in patients aged <40, 40-59 and ≥60. In multivariable analysis, the risk of death was higher in men (aOR 2.0, 95%CI 1.1;3.6), people aged ≥60 (aOR 2.9, 95%CI 1.7;4.8) and those with chronic hypertension (aOR 2.1, 95%CI 1.2;3.4).
CONCLUSION: COVID-19 is as severe in Africa as elsewhere and common risk factors such as greater age and hypertension should make us vigilant.