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Influenza: The African response

Over the last century, Coronaviruses (CoV) have attacked the world, since the 18th century we have found fairly precise cycles of flu on the planet, we could go further with the Black Death (1347-1348).

1918 and the Spanish flu, the countries of the world have the capacity to produce analyses, writings and statistics, this allows them to have sufficient hindsight to list mortality, and unlike Covid-19, mortality is more important among 20-40 year olds with a peak at 30 years old. Knowing that life expectancy in the 1920s was 50 years, reduced to 35 years, caused by the First World War and its thousands of soldiers on the front.

The Spanish flu has an average mortality rate of 5% and killed around 20 to 50 million people on the planet.

As a reminder, the black post had a mortality rate approaching 100% in the 14th century, a horror. Europe had ± 75 million inhabitants, there were around 50 million left at the end of the epidemic.

The Africa of 1918 with ± 130 million inhabitants will have nearly 2% death (2.5 million) with a rise to 15% in certain communities.

1918: Prevention and System D

The common point of the flu is the pulmonary intrusion, fevers, mild or serious with an animal origin. The flu can be rapid (1918) with a lung penetration rate of 2 to 3 days and more aggressive and more contagious or slower, attacking the most fragile people.

"French doctors recognize a virtue in rum, the city of Paris obtains 500 hectoliters to counter the virus as prevention and treatment, we find traces of it in the newspaper "Le Petit Parisien" in October 1918."

In Africa, confinement, quarantine, the closure of places of worship, schools and access control to cities and ports are the first preventive measures. The radio and the telegraph was the mode of communication to prevent "clusters" and the precautions and arrangements to be made.

Thus documents with recommendations were relayed in the languages and dialects of certain communities and passes were established.

Since 1918, the methods of prevention have not changed, confinement, makeshift mask, social distancing, individual prevention and quarantine, we use the same methods for Covid-19, only the mode of communication has changed in its form.

In 1918, doctors explained that antimalarial treatments (quinine) seemed effective in combating the Spanish flu, the absence of antibiotics, where the only knowledge of aspirin was known but controversial, did not allow other solutions to explorations and treatments, 100 years later Professor Raoult treats his patients with Plaquenil.

The Resilience of the African Continent: Pragmatism and Efficiency

Resilience is what characterizes the continent and the peoples of Africa, where since the start of the epidemic chaos was predicted. Africa had 2,475 Covid cases in March 2020 and no deaths on a continent of 1.2 billion inhabitants, while Europe was already at 500 deaths for a population of ± 500 million.

Note that from the beginning of February sub-Saharan Africa took measures such as systematic temperature control in airports and people arriving from China were quarantined. Borders closed, a curfew in some countries was put in place as soon as the first cases were detected.

At the beginning of March, Senegal activated the National Emergency Health Security Plan on the "first (1) case" detected, increased responsiveness, with the opening of emergency centers to detect and isolate positive cases, the wearing of mask becomes mandatory.

Can we talk about coincidence in the strategy of the African continent, accustomed to dealing with the Ebola virus which kills one person (1) out of two (2), or even infections such as malaria, which generate good practices for populations, good sense and pragmatism.

Massamba Diop, Doctor of SOS doctors Senegal explains "Containments slow the progression of the epidemic if they are carried out very early. As soon as a first infected patient moves, if he is not isolated, then the virus spreads. reproduced very quickly. We started with an R0 to 8 reproduction rate in Senegal, which is huge, but very quickly this rate fell very low."

We can explain that the mortality of Covid-19 affects the over 65s (3% of the continent), which represents 36 million people, but it is clear that the measures taken have not caused a slaughter in these populations.

The first observations are the responsiveness and adaptability of African countries to put in place barrier gestures, on a continent where social contacts are strong. Common sense measures in terms of care or health infrastructure are less developed

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