Significant proportion of Nigerians still at risk
By Sola Ogundipe & Chioma Obinna
No less than 1 in 5 individuals in Lagos, Enugu, and the Nasarawa States have ever been infected with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus), even as more Nigerians are still at risk, according to findings of COVID-19 Household Seroprevalence Surveys in Four States of Nigeria.
The surveys were conducted by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, and their partners, between September and October 2020.
They were designed to improve the estimated burden of COVID-19 infection in the country and provide a more detailed estimate of the extent of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19.
The report, jointly signed by Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu and Professor Babatunde Salako, the Directors General of the NCDC and NIMR, respectively, said the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was 23 percent in Lagos and Enugu States, 19 percent in Nasarawa State, and 9 percent in Gombe State.
“This means that as many as 1 in 5 individuals in Lagos, Enugu, and Nasarawa State would have ever been infected with SARS-CoV-2. In Gombe, the proportion is about 1 in 10,” the statement noted.
The findings also said: “These rates of infection are higher than those reported through the national surveillance system and reveal that the spread of infection in the states surveyed is wider than is obvious from surveillance activities.
“This is not surprising for COVID-19, given that a majority of those infected do not have any symptoms.”
Results of the surveys further showed higher rates of infection among males than females (for example, 10 percent vs 7 per cent in Gombe and 21 per cent vs 17 per cent in Nasarawa); urban compared to rural and residents (for example, 28 per cent vs 18 per cent in Enugu and 23 per cent vs. 19 per cent in Lagos); and persons aged 18-64 years. There were also variations across the local government areas (LGA) within…
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