Clinical characteristics of 4499 COVID-19 patients in Africa: A meta-analysis.


Olumade TJ(1)(2), Uzairue LI(3)(4).
Author information:
(1)Department of Biological Sciences, Redeemer's University, Ede, Osun, Nigeria.
(2)African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, Redeemer's University, Ede, Osun, Nigeria.
(3)Department of Microbiology, College of Biosciences, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun, Nigeria.
(4)Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti, Nigeria.


The novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that started in December 2019 has affected over 95 million people and killed over 2 million people as of January 19, 2021. While more studies are published to help us understand the virus, there is a dearth of studies on the clinical characteristics and associated outcomes of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 on the African continent. We evaluated evidence from previous studies in Africa available in six databases between January 1 and October 6, 2020. Meta-analysis was then performed using Open-Meta Analyst and Jamovi software. A total of seven studies, including 4499 COVID-19 patients, were included. The result of the meta-analysis showed that 68.8% of infected patients were male. Common symptoms presented (with their incidences) were fever (42.8%), cough (33.3%), headache (11.3%), and breathing problems (16.8%). Other minor occurring symptoms included diarrhea (7.5%) and rhinorrhea (9.4%). Fatality rate was 5.6%. There was no publication bias in the study. This study presents the first description and analysis of the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 patients in Africa. The most common symptoms are fever, cough, and breathing problems.