COVID-19 New Cases and Environmental Factors During Wet and Dry Seasons in West and Southern Africa

G. S. Jenkins, S. M. Freire, T. Ogunro, D. Niang, M. Andrade, M. S. Drame, J. B. Huvi, E. E.S. Pires, E. N. Toure, M. Camara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sub-Saharan Africa has been the last continent to experience a significant number of cases in the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Studies suggest that air pollution is related to COVID-19 mortality; poor air quality has been linked to cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and respiratory diseases, which are considered co-morbidities linked to COVID-19 deaths. We examine potential connections between country-wide COVID-19 cases and environmental conditions in Senegal, Cabo Verde, Nigeria, Cote D'Ivorie, and Angola. We analyze PM2.5 concentrations, temperatures from cost-effective in situ measurements, aerosol optical depth (AOD), and fire count and NO2 column values from space-borne platforms from 1 January 2020 through 31 March 2021. Our results show that the first COVID-19 wave in West Africa began during the wet season of 2020, followed by a second during the dry season of 2020. In Angola, the first wave starts during the biomass burning season but does not peak until November of 2020. Overall PM2.5 concentrations are the highest in Ibadan, Nigeria, and coincided with the second wave of COVID-19 in late 2021 and early 2022. The COVID-19 waves in Cabo Verde are not in phase with those in Senegal, Nigeria, and Cote, lagging by several months in general. Overall, the highest correlations occurred between weekly new COVID-19 cases meteorological and air quality variables occurred in the dry season.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2022GH000765
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Epidemiology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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