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Scientists Mystified at How Sub-Saharan Africa Avoids COVID (Mercola.com)
Scientists Mystified at How Sub-Saharan Africa Avoids
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked
Scientists appear stymied by the low number of infections and deaths in sub-Saharan
Africa where the vaccination rate is less than 6%
Africa has 17.46% of the world's population and 3% of the COVID-19 global death toll
while countries with better health care have higher death rates, including the Americas
with 46% and Europe with 29%
Nigeria, with the highest population, has had 3,000 deaths in 200 million people, which is
what is recorded in the U.S. every two or three days. Yet, Nigeria has announced an allout vaccination program to "prepare for the next wave"
Factors that may have influenced the low infection and death rate are outdoor living that
raises vitamin D levels, a younger population and access to medications and herbs used
for other local conditions, but which are also known to reduce the severity of COVID
19 outcomes in Scotland and Sweden. By March 2020, Scotland had implemented
strict lockdowns and closed schools and other social venues. People were threatened
with police fines if they went outside other than to exercise once a day, go to work or buy
On the other hand, Sweden handled the pandemic differently than most of the globe and
was initially vilified for looser restrictions and a lack of severe lockdown measures. In
October 2020, TIME called the response a "disaster," but data have shown that the death
rate in Sweden was in line with other years. In other words, excess deaths that may
have been attributed to COVID-19 were minimal.
Information compiled by CAN films showed the response in Sweden, which has nearly
double the population of Scotland, had significantly less impact on the economy and
health of their population, as well as nearly half the percentage of excess deaths as did
Scotland. Scotland had three lockdowns, 64 school closures and a 54% increase in
weight gain, while Sweden had no lockdowns, no school closures and zero weight gain.
Sub-Saharan African Continent Has Avoided COVID-19
Over the Thanksgiving 2021 break, media outlets broke the news of a new COVID-19
variant, dubbed Omicron, that was identified in South Africa. This variant is different in
that doctors are reporting “unusual,” but mild symptoms, with fatigue being the most
common complaint. In response, the rest of the world immediately instituted travel bans
to and from South Africa.
Interestingly, the steps taken in Africa throughout the pandemic have varied depending
on the country, yet the infection and death rate were relatively stable and low across the
continent. Over the last year there have been reports of small areas in the world where
the number of infections, deaths or case fatality rates have been significantly lower than
the rest of the world.
For example, India's Uttar Pradesh State reported a recovery rate of 98.6% and no
further infections. On the other hand, the entire continent of Africa appears to have
sidestepped the massive number of infections and deaths predicted for these poorly
funded countries with overcrowded cities.
Early estimations were that millions would die when the pandemic swept across Africa.
However, that scenario has not materialized. According to AP News, less than 6% of
the continent is vaccinated and for months, the World Health Organization has called
Africa "one of the least affected regions in the world."
In a busy crowded market outside Harare, AP News spoke with Nyasha Ndou, who
carries a mask in his pocket. Hundreds of other people, mostly unmasked, were in the
marketplace. Ndou explained the mask in his pocket:
"COVID-19 is gone, when did you last hear of anyone who has died of COVID19? The mask is to protect my pocket. The police demand bribes so I lose
money if I don't move around with a mask."
According to data from WorldoMeter, the population of Africa makes up 17.46% of the
world's population Yet, AP News reports that the WHO data reveal deaths in Africa are
3% of the global total, while deaths in countries with better health care are much higher,
such as 46% in the Americas and 29% in Europe.
Nigeria has the highest population in Africa and the government has recorded just 3,000
deaths in the 200 million people who live in the country. In the U.S., AP News reports
there are that many deaths every two or three days.
Some Credit Early Lockdowns With Low Number of Infections
Across the world, countries and communities went into lockdown to supposedly help
"flatten the curve" and slow the spread of the virus. Lesotho, the southernmost
landlocked country in the world and surrounded by South Africa, locked down their
country and their borders before a single person got sick.
In March 2020, the country declared an emergency, closed the schools and went into a
three-week lockdown. In early May, the lockdown was lifted, and the country recorded its
first confirmed cases. The BBC reported in October 2020 that in a country of 2 million
people they recorded 40 deaths in five months and approximately 1,700 cases.
That number rose to 4,137 cases by January 2021 as citizens from South Africa were
crossing the border during the holiday season. In addition to border crossings, the
government had been releasing people early from quarantine over cost concerns.
However, experts believe thousands of people had crossed the border illegally because
they were unable to afford to pay for their COVID-19 test. In response to the rising
number of COVID-19 cases in January, the prime minister imposed a curfew on social
venues such as bars and nightclubs at 8 pm.
While the quick action that some countries took to lock down their population may have
slowed the spread of the virus in the early days, the SARS-CoV-2 is endemic. This means
that it is in the environment and no amount of lockdown will eliminate the virus.
It also means that once lockdowns are opened again, the virus will continue to spread,
just like flu and cold viruses. Countries like Lesotho that locked down early have
experienced infections after the lockdown was lifted. The one advantage to flattening
the curve and reducing the number of infections early in the pandemic was that doctors
could have used the time to improve treatment protocols.
Dr. Vladimir Zelenko and the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance are two
examples of physicians and physician groups that developed treatment protocols during
2020 that have proven to be successful and reduce the number of individuals with
severe disease or long-haul symptoms.
Factors That May Influence the Infection Rate
There are several factors that may influence the infection rates in Africa. In the video
above, Dr. John Campbell points to the dramatic reduction in COVID-19 cases in Japan
that began in August, just 12 days after doctors were allowed to legally prescribe
ivermectin to their patients.
Using Google Translate, Campbell learned Dr. Haruo Ozaki, chairman of the Tokyo
Medical Association, had taken notice of the low number of infections and deaths in
Africa where many use ivermectin prophylactically and as the core strategy to treat
onchocerciasis, a parasitic disease also known as river blindness. More than 99% of
people infected live in 31 African countries.
Other medications that are commonly available in Africa have also demonstrated
effectiveness against COVID-19. For example, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have
long been used in the treatment and prevention of malaria. Zelenko has published
successful results using hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19.
Malaria is one of the leading causes of death in many developing nations in Africa. The
illness is triggered by a parasite carried by an infected female mosquito and
characterized by flu-like symptoms. Delays in treatment increase the severity of the
illness and the risk of death. According to the WHO there were 219 million cases of
malaria diagnosed in 2017 and 92% of those were in the African region.
Finally, Artemisia annua, also known as sweet wormwood, is an herb used in
combination therapies to treat malaria. It was used in traditional Chinese medicine for
more than 2,000 years to treat fever. Today artemisinin, a metabolite of Artemisia, is the
current therapeutic option for malaria. The plant has also been studied since the 2003
SARS outbreak for the treatment of coronaviruses, with good results.
As the BBC points out, the average age in most African countries is much lower than in
the rest of the world. Since many who have died are over the age of 80, and the median
age in Africa is 19 years, infections are far less likely to result in death. Only 3% of the
population is over age 65 as compared to 16.9% in North America and 19.2% in
In addition, residential care facilities for the elderly are rare in most African countries.
Weather may also play a part in who gets COVID: Early in the pandemic, researchers
from the University of Maryland discovered there was a correlation between the
spread of COVID-19 and temperature, humidity and latitude. They found the virus
appears to spread better when humidity and temperatures drop.
In addition, temperate weather and sunny skies such as those you see in Africa increase
the likelihood that a population will have optimal levels of vitamin D. Researchers have
discovered that maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D reduces the potential for
infection and lowers the risk of severe disease.
How Does Vaccination in Sub-Saharan Africa Make Sense?
The low numbers of COVID-19 in the sub-Saharan African population continue despite a
less than 6% vaccination rate. Meanwhile. Western nations' vaccination rates are
soaring, yet they struggle with rising infection and death rates. With statistics like this,
why are Nigerian officials seemingly overlooking the country's low numbers and health
status by announcing they would be stepping up their immunization schedule, with
hopes to give the shot to half the population before February.
Put simply, their target is "herd immunity" in a population that is not suffering. Oyewale
Tomori, is a virologist from Nigeria who sits on several WHO advisory groups. He
believes the vaccination level does not need to be as high as it is in the West. Salim.
But Abdool Karim, an epidemiologist in South Africa who has advised the government in
the past on COVID-19, disagrees. He is calling for an all-out vaccination program to
"prepare for the next wave," which negates what has happened in Africa in the last 20
months. He says, "Looking at what's happening in Europe, the likelihood of more cases
spilling over here is very high."
So, as African countries which have had lower rates of infection and deaths since the
start of the pandemic vaccinate more and more of their population, one can't help but
wonder: Once vaccination programs are underway, will the death rates climb as they
have in other areas of the world where vaccination levels are high?
And if they do, how will the "health experts" explain the sudden rising number of
infections and deaths on a continent that has thus far avoided pandemic levels of
Sources and References
AP News, November 19, 2021
Bitchute, November 18, 2021
The Scottish Parliament, November 26, 2021, March 16-20, 2020
The Times, March 4, 2021
KOMO News, October 14, 2021
TIME October 14, 2020
medRxiv, 2020; doi.org/10.1101/2020.11.11.20229708
Bitchute, November 18, 2021 Min 1:25 & 1:59 & 2:25 & 3:23
The Epoch Times November 27, 2021
Quartz Africa, August 23, 2021
Christianity Daily, September 17, 2021
WorldoMeter, Africa Population
WorldoMeter, Current World Population
BBC, October 8, 2020
The Guardian, January 8, 2021
Dr. Vladimir Zelenko
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 2020;56(6)
Yahoo! News, June 9, 2021
Journal of Medical Microbiology, 2020; doi.org/10.1099/jmm.0.001250
COVID-19 Early Treatment, Ivermectin
YouTube, November 23, 2021 Min 1:30
Tokyo Web, August 13, 2021
YouTube, November 23, 2021 Min 4:30
World Health Organization, Onchocerciasis
Pharmacology Therapeutics, 2020;216
World Atlas, Countries with the Highest Rates of Malaria
World Health Organization, Malaria
World Journal of Pharmacology, 2013;3(4)
Natural Product Insider, November 10, 2021
NutraIngredients, January 19, 2021
BBC, October 8, 2020 #3
Statistica, Share of Old Age Population in the U.S.
Eurostat, A Look at the Lives of the Elderly
JAMA Network Open, 2020;3(6)
Maryland Today, March 20, 2020
Endocrine Practice, 2021;27(5)
Risk Management and Healthcare Policy, 2021;14
Frontiers in Public Health, 2021;9(624559)
AP News, November 19, 2021, last 9 para
1, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 49
19, 20, 42
Planet Today, August 9, 2021
Becker’s Hospital Review, August 19, 2021
COVID-19 Data Science, October 20, 2021
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