Short Report - Special Collection: COVID-19

Coronavirus-19 and malaria: The great mimics

Tapiwanashe Kusotera, Trust G. Nhengu
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 12, No 1 | a2501 | DOI: | © 2020 Tapiwanashe Kusotera, Trust G. Nhengu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 April 2020 | Published: 05 August 2020

About the author(s)

Tapiwanashe Kusotera, Department of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
Trust G. Nhengu, Musiso Hospital, Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe

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The use of SARS-CoV-2 rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits by some African countries for screening has raised serious concerns over their role in malaria areas. Coupled with a lack of adequate personal protective equipment and the scarcity of knowledge on the possible interaction between malaria and COVID-19 both in terms of presentations and shared symptoms, this has left many frontline health workers with fears and anxieties. Several anecdotal reports have already raised questions pertaining to possible false-positive COVID-19 results in proven malaria cases by use of SARS-CoV-2 RDT kits with huge costs to already constrained budgets. The report raises concerns on the use of SARS-CoV-2 kits in malaria areas in terms of cost, to prompt research, allay fears and guide policy during this pandemic and beyond.


COVID-19; Coronavirus; malaria; SARS-CoV-2 RDT kits; screening


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Crossref Citations

1. Addressing Africa’s pandemic puzzle: Perspectives on COVID-19 transmission and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa
Hassan H. Musa, Taha H. Musa, Idriss H. Musa, Ibrahim H. Musa, Alessia Ranciaro, Michael C. Campbell
International Journal of Infectious Diseases  vol: 102  first page: 483  year: 2021  
doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.09.1456