The prevalence of COVID-19 in EgyptMonday, June 22, 2020
The number of Egyptians 18+ who have been infected with the Corona virus is estimated at 616 thousand people
Fever is the most prevalent symptom among the infected people
The Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera) conducted a telephone survey to estimate the prevalence of the COVID-19 (Corona) virus among Egyptians aged 18 years or above. It should be noted that the prevalence rate of COVID-19 virus through surveys may be lower than the real rate due to the inability of some patients to mention their infection because they feel that the infection may constitute a stigma for them or because the symptoms were very simple and did not remember their occurrence. In return this rate may be greater than the real rate if the symptoms are similar to other diseases, including other flu types. It should be noted also that these results depend on the responses of the respondents, that is, they are a self-diagnosis of the disease and do not necessarily depend on the clinical diagnosis and therefore the results differ from the number of recorded cases. The difference between the two results can be explained by the fact that self-diagnosis includes simple, medium and severe cases, while the recorded cases are usually the most severe.
The results of the survey showed that the percentage of those who stated that they had contracted the disease was 10.1 per thousand people aged 18 years or above, which is equivalent to About 616 thousand Egyptians aged 18 years or above. To compare the results of the survey and the registered number we can rely on the prevalence of the cases mentioned in the survey that stated that they were hospitalized as a result of the disease. The survey results indicate that 12% of the patients were hospitalized; an estimate of 74,000 patients, which is close to the number announced by the Egyptian Ministry of Health. While 66% relied on domestic isolation, 39% continuously followed up with a doctor, and 61% stated that they were taking treatment.
The low percentage of those who have been hospitalized may be due to the fact that a large percentage of cases showed mild symptoms, as the survey results indicate that in 43% of cases had one symptom of the disease, and 18% had two symptoms, while the rest of the cases had 3 or more symptoms. The prevalence of the different symptoms varied with 67% for fever, 37% for severe cough, 39% vomiting and diarrhea, 31% for sore throat, 13% loss of sense of smell or taste, and 13% incidence of abdominal pain.
It is noted that the prevalence rate reached 14 per thousand of the urban population compared to 8 per thousand of the rural population, and this may be due to a difference in the rate of infection or a difference in the extent of awareness of the infected people with the infection. The percentage of those who reported their infection with the virus varies according to the educational situation where the infection rate increases from 8 per thousand population among those with less than intermediate education to 16 per thousand population among those with a university education.
Respondents were asked to mention all the ways in which they were diagnosed, and the results indicate that 15% of the patients were diagnosed through a smear test, 29% were diagnosed through a blood test, 38% conducted chest x-ray, and 23% knew after the examination at a doctor, 16% stated that they had relied on themselves for diagnosis through the symptoms that were announced. When the patients were asked whether any of their household members had contracted the disease, 21% said that at least one other member of their family had been infected, while 56% said that the rest of their family members had not been infected, and 23% answered that they did not know.
Survey methodology: In accordance with the principle of transparency and commitment to the ethics of publishing polls, Baseera Center discloses the methodology of it conducted survey as follows: The survey was conducted using a landline phones and mobile phones on a sample of 3017 Egyptians, in the age group of 18 years or above, covering all the governorates of the Republic. The interviews were conducted from June 8th to June 18th, 2020. The response rate was about 55%, with a margin of error less than 3%. The poll was self-funded by the baseera. For more details on the results and methodology used or for a graphical presentation of the results, please refer to www.baseera.com.eg and baseera information bank www.baseeraibank.com.