Epidemiological, virological and clinical features of SARS-CoV-2 among individuals during the first wave in Cameroon: Baseline analysis for the EDCTP PERFECT-Study RIA2020EF-3000
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In Cameroon, COVID-19 infection spread rapidly and nationwide, with up to 721 deaths reported. To the best of our knowledge, no study reported the on-theground data using a large patients’ dataset to give a comprehensive knowledge on COVID-19 pandemic in Cameroon. The objective of this study was to shade lights on the epidemiological, virological and clinical features of COVID-19 in the Cameroonian context. An observational study was conducted among symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals tested for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR on nasopharyngeal samples from April 22nd, 2020 to January 5th, 2021. Out of 14119 individuals (59.8% male), overall SARS-CoV-2 positivity was 12.7% (from 7.9% in <10 years to 17.3% in >60 years, p<0.001). The positivity rate of symptomatic individuals was 36.1% versus 9.8% among asymptomatic ones, p<0.001. Age group ≤10 [aOR (95%CI): 0.515 (0.338-0.784), p=0.002] and being symptomatic [aOR (95% CI): 5.108 (4.521-5.771), p<0.001] were predictors of SARS-CoV-2 positivity. Regarding PCR Cycle Threshold (CT), 53.8% of positive individuals had a CT <30. According to age, compared to older individuals, those aged 21-40 years showed a higher proportion with high viraemia (CT<20; 21.3% versus 12.5% respectively, p=0.003). Similarly, symptomatic individuals showed a higher proportion with high viraemia (22.4%), when compared to asymptomatic (13.9%); p<0.001. During this first wave of the pandemic, overall SARS-CoV-2 positivity remained high (>10%) and was associated with the presence of symptoms and older age. Most of the infection is among young and asymptomatic individuals, suggesting the “track-and-test” strategy should target these potential transmitters.
Copyright (c) 2022 Joseph Fokam, Désiré Takou, Alex Durand Nka, Aude Christelle Ka’e, Bouba Yagai, Collins Ambe Chenwi, Ezechiel Ngoufack Jagni Semengue, Grâce Angong Beloumou, Sandrine Claire Djupsa Ndjeyep, Aissatou Abba, Willy Pabo, Davy Gouissi, Michel Carlos Tommo Tchouaket, Laeticia Yatchou, Krystel Zam, Lucien Mama, Regine Claudette Ekitti, Nadine Fainguem, Rachel Kamgaing, Samuel Martin Sosso, Nicaise Ndembi, Vittorio Colizzi, Carlo-Federico Perno, Alexis Ndjolo
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