NCDC DG reacts to claims of similarity between coronavirus, malaria

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The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, has reacted to claims making the rounds that COVID-19 and Malaria are similar.

Iheakweazu said COVID-19 is completely different from Malaria because the former was a virus while the latter is caused by a parasite.

The NCDC DG was reacting to claims by the Chairman of DAAR Communications, Raymond Dokpesi, that he was treated with Malaria drugs while at the isolation centre in Abuja.

Dokpesi and some of his family members were discharged after testing negative for COVID-19.

However, the NCDC DG while speaking during the presidential task force daily briefing on COVID-19 stressed Coronavirus is a respiratory disease.

Iheakweazu, however, stated that most illnesses show the same symptoms at an early stage.

He also stressed that a patient can be infected with both Malaria and COVID-19 at the same time.

He said: ”I think we all know COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a virus, Malaria is caused by a parasite. They are completely different diseases.

“However, many diseases present exactly the same way in the beginning, Yellow fever presents the same way with fever at the beginning, Lassa the same way, malaria the same way.

“So, the initial presentation of a febrile illness is similar across diseases. There is no specific treatment for COVID-19 so what clinicians do is to manage your symptoms so that your body recovers as quickly as possible.

“You can have Malaria and COVID-19. That you have COVID-19 doesn’t prevent you from having Malaria and if you are in a hospital for one month, you could definitely be co-infected by both of them.

“So there are many reasons why people receive similar treatments but they are two completely different diseases with different pathogenesis.”

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