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NCDC Clears the Air on Malaria and Coronavirus

The Director-General of the NCDC, Chikwe Iheakweazu, has made clear distinction between the ravaging coronavirus and malaria in the country.
The NCDC boss spoke on the background of a question thrown out by the chairman of DAAR Communications, Raymond Dokpesi who after his discharged from an Isolation center in Abuja on Thursday, asked what the differences were between COVID-19 and malaria because according to him, all the drugs given to him at the Isolation center were anti-malaria drugs.
Dokpesi said: “I still have doubts in my mind. I still want to be properly educated. What is the difference between COVID-19 which is a virus and Malaria which is caused by mosquitos because every medication we were given was Malaria medication. Some people, before they were told they were COVID-19 positive, they were tested in reputable laboratories and hospitals in Abuja and what they found was that they had a lot of malaria parasites in their bloodstream. So when did malaria become synonymous to COVID-19?”
While responding to the question which was brought to the floor of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing on Friday by a reporter, the NCDC boss 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 febrille illness is similar across diseases. There is no specific treatment for COVID-19 so what clinicians do is to manage your symtoms 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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