There is no evidence to suggest “black people’s” immunity to the virus, or conversely “white people’s” vulnerability to it. The World Health Organisation (WHO) already stated that anyone in proximity to an infected person is at risk of contracting it (COVID-19).
The major outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan China has caused pandemonium with countries setting measures in place to curb its spread. Other than tackling the epidemic, the media now faces an onslaught of resultant misinformation.
Recently, a blog post said that Chinese doctors have confirmed that Africans have skin layers that are immune to the deadly covid-19.
According to the post, a Cameroonian college student studying in China who contracted coronavirus quickly recovered “because of his blood genetic composition, which is mainly found in the genetic composition of Subsaharan Africans.”
Coronavirus, which was renamed Covid-19 recently by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is a virus that infects humans; leading to an upper and sometimes lower respiratory tract infection.
Does it mean Africans are safe? NO
Findings suggest otherwise. While the premise is correct, the claim is baseless; just another conclusion circulated by online blogs. Moreover, no credible news platform published it. Besides that, no health authority announced this alleged discovery.
Nonetheless, it is accurate that a 21-year old Cameroonian, Kem Senou Daryl studying in China became ill and was hospitalized shortly after contacting coronavirus. He was the first African in China to contract the disease and report a full recovery.
Reports have it that the young man who was under a 14-day quarantine in the university dormitory said:
“No matter what happens I don’t want to take the sickness back to Africa.”
Initially, he suffered from a fever, dry cough and flu-like symptoms; then was in isolation for 13 days in a local Chinese hospital. The doctors in the hospital administered antibiotics and HIV retroviral medication on Daryl for two weeks, after which he began to show signs of recovery. The hospital cleared Dary after the doctors conducted a CT scan and found no traces of the illness. The Chinese state also covered his medical care.
Possibly authentic image, still
Dubawa also performed reverse image verification on the pictures attached to the claim. Results revealed that they did not exist before February. Yet, to reiterate what we’ve established, it is an isolated incident!
Black or White? Don’t Matter
There is no evidence that black people were or are less susceptible to the disease. Anyone regardless of race who comes into close contact with an infected party is at risk.
If indeed it is true that people from African backgrounds are more resistant to coronavirus than others, one should expect it to be a significant news story. Instead, we found the story only on a handful of online blogs, calling its trustworthiness to question.
PesaCheck interviewed a Medical practitioner, and the Doctor in a fact-check they published said:
While Senou was the first African to contract the virus and recuperate from it, one cannot attribute his recovery to just genetics or a superior immune system. His healing was instead a function of medication administered, according to new reports. Although, according to Dr Kitheka, a healthy immune system does play a role in recovery.