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A Clinical Evaluation of COVID-19’s Third Wave Symptoms Severity on Patients in Zomba City: A Case Study of University of Malawi Clinic

Mtisunge Mandala
Wisdom Changadeya
Bosco Rusuwa
Sekeleghe Kayuni


The impact of COVID-19 infections has been felt in Malawi since April 2020. Malawi readily benefited from the Coronavirus vaccine  distribution program. While reagents were accessible for easy diagnosis, screening protocols kept changing. This paper assessed severity  of symptoms among Coronavirus infected people as impacted by several factors in Zomba city. A cross-sectional study (n= 570)  was conducted among patients accessing the University of Malawi COVID-19 clinic. Sex, age, disease outcome, vaccination status and  underlying conditions data were collected. Log-linear multiple regression model was used for data analysis in R statistical analytical tool  (Version 3.1). From July 2021 to October 2021, the clinic reported 179 (34.5%) third wave COVID-19 cases with a slightly higher males’ representation (54.8%) than females (45.2%). Significant variation of infection prevalence was represented by 71.1% and 3.2% in age  groups 18-29 and 1-17 respectively (χ2 = 328.34, df = 4, p <.01). Majority of the infections were mild  (90%) with few severe (5.1%) and  asymptomatic (4.6%) cases (χ2 = 288.25, df = 2, p <.01). Underlying conditions (5.6%, n=197) were present among few infected individuals.  Infection significantly varied according to vaccination status categories (χ2 = 284.63, df = 2, p <.01) with most of the un-immunized  patients (89.8%), vaccinated with one dose (8.6%) and two doses (1.5%). A negative association of disease severity with underlying  conditions [0.1(R: -0.4, p=.02)] and vaccination status (R: -0.4, p=.01) were observed. Coronavirus symptoms severity was positively  associated with a vaccination status and age interaction (R: 0.01, p=0.01). Underlying conditions in consideration of age negatively  determined severity (R: - 0.01, p=0.02). Further underlying conditions effect on severity assessment is needed to understand the  relationship. Adherence to COVID-19 preventive and control measures i.e. vaccination, social distance and use of face masks reduce  cases.

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eISSN: 1019-7079