COVID-19: Early transmission dynamics in Nigeria.

Early transmission dynamics in Nigeria.
Heneghan C, Spencer EA, Jefferson T.

Published on June 17, 2020

Reference Adegboye OA, Adekunle AI, Gayawan E. Early transmission dynamics of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria. Int J Environ Res Public Health;17(9):E3054. Published Apr 28. 2020
Study type
Country Nigeria
Setting Community
Funding Details No external funding
Transmission mode Community, imported

Bottom Line

The transmission was slow in the early weeks of the pandemic in Nigeria compared with other countries, which may be related to differences in case ascertainment.

Evidence Summary

Between 27 February and 11 April 2020 (45-days), 318 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed: 10 COVID-19 deaths.  The increase in cases in Nigeria was slower than across several other African countries.

At day 45, doubling time was 9.8 days (95% CI 7.3 to 15.2); for travel-related imported cases only, the doubling time was 12.9 days and for local cases only, doubling time was 2.9 days.

What did they do?

Preliminary epidemiological analysis of the first 45 days of the  COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria was undertaken from the 27th February to the 11th of  April 2020.

Daily number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 were obtained from publicly available outbreak situation report of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organization daily situation reports.

Real-time growth of COVID-19 in the first 45 days was estimated by fitting exponential curves to the daily counts and its changes in time, based on the log-linear Poisson regression model.

Study reliability

This study uses early data from the pandemic and ascertainment may not have been comprehensive. The actual cases in the country within the studied period would be underreported due to the low testing capabilities. By April, Nigeria was only able to test 5,000 individuals translating to 240 per 100,000 people.

Clearly defined setting Demographic characteristics described Follow-up length was sufficient Transmission outcomes assessed Main biases are taken into consideration
Yes No Unclear Yes Unclear *
* Unclear if case assessment was accurate.

What else should I consider?

The testing capacity of African countries is insufficient to determine true case rates. Future planning should consider the lack of resources in the developing world.

About the authors

Carl Heneghan

Carl is Professor of EBM & Director of CEBM at the University of Oxford. He is also a GP and tweets @carlheneghan. He has an active interest in discovering the truth behind health research findings

Elizabeth Spencer

Dr Elizabeth Spencer; MMedSci, PhD. Epidemiologist, Nuffield Department for Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford.

Tom Jefferson

Tom Jefferson, epidemiologist.