How COVID-19 Differs From Malaria

Amidst disinformation surrounding the existence of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, investigations have shown that although the two ailments may present similar symptoms, they are not exactly the same. 

Information obtained from the verified Twitter account of the National Centre For Disease Control (NCDC),a Nigeran disease control agency clearly highlighted what separates COVID-19 from Malaria. 

Recall that some Nigerians have expressed doubts over the existence of COVID-19 in the country with many insinuating what the government term COVID-19 is nothing but Malaria. 

Chief Raymond Dokposi, Chairman of Daar Communication who was discharged from Isolation centre after contracting Coronavirus last year and the Governor of Kogi State, Yahya  Bello are two top Nigerians who have publicly expressed this sentiments. 

While Dokpesi insisted that during his treatment in isolation Centre, he was given anti-malaria drugs as remedy for the virus, Bello on the other hand described the pandemic in an interview in Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Tuesday, October 27, as "glorified Malaria". 

NCDC in series of tweets since May  2020 however clarified that  both diseases are caused by different organisms and differ in mode of transmission. 

"They're completely different diseases; COVID-19 is caused by a virus, Malaria is caused by a parasite". COVID-19 is not Malaria. 

If you have cough or fever and one of these symptoms ; lost of smell/taste,  difficulty in breathing, diarrhea, catarrh, fatigue, shivering, body pain, headache, soar throat, do your call your state COVID-19 hot line", the agency tweeted. 

The agency further advised Nigerians to first ensure they run COVID-19 test rather than treat Malaria if they're sick. 

Corroborating the agency's position, Dr. Asibong Inyang, a medical practitioner with over 15 years experience in an interview said that the claim that Covid-19 is glorified Malaria is misleading as it lacks scientific proofs. 

She advised Nigerians to listen to science rather than rumour speculated on social media and churches. 

In her words, she said that "such report lacks scientific bases and can be misleading. Malaria is a parasitic disease caused by infection with plasmodium protozoa, transmitted through infection female anopheles mosquitoes. The aetiologic agent of COVID-19 is SARS-CoV2 strain of Coronavirus".

This investigation is sponsored by Africa Resilience Network with support from IWPR

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