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Scientific article
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English

The toll of COVID-19 on African children: A descriptive analysis on the COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality among the pediatric population in Sub-Saharan Africa

Published inInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases, vol. 110, p. 457-465
Publication date2021
Abstract

Introduction: Few data on the COVID-19 epidemiological characteristics among the pediatric population in Africa exists. This paper examines the age and sex distribution of the morbidity and mortality rate in children with COVID-19 and compares it to the adult population within 15 Sub-Saharan African countries. Methods: A merge line listing dataset shared by countries within the Regional Office for Africa was analyzed. Patients diagnosed within 1 March and 1 September 2020 with confirmed positive RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 were analyzed. Children's data were stratified into three age groups: 0-4 years, 5-11 years, and 12-17 years, while adults were combined. The cumulative incidence of cases, its medians, and 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Results: 9% of the total confirmed cases and 2.4% of the reported deaths were pediatric cases. The 12-17 age group in all 15 countries showed the highest cumulative incidence proportion in children. Adults had a higher case incidence per 100,000 people than children. Conclusion: The cases and deaths within the children's population was smaller than the adult population. These differences can reflect biases in COVID-19 testing protocols and reporting implemented by countries, highlighting the need for more extensive investigation and focus on the effects of COVID-19 in children.

Keywords
  • Africa
  • COVID-19
  • Children
  • Epidemiology
  • Morbidity
  • SARS-CoV-2
Citation (ISO format)
RODRIGUEZ VELÁSQUEZ, Sabina et al. The toll of COVID-19 on African children: A descriptive analysis on the COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality among the pediatric population in Sub-Saharan Africa. In: International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2021, vol. 110, p. 457–465. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2021.07.060
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ISSN of the journal1201-9712
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Creation08/05/2021 5:34:00 PM
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