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Comparing radiological presentations of first and second strains of COVID-19 infections in a low-resource country

Brakohiapa, E. K. K., Sarkodie, B. D., Ohene-Botwe, B. ORCID: 0000-0002-0477-640X , Dzefi-Tettey, K., Anim, D. A., Edzie, E. K. M., Goleku, P. N., Jimah, B. B. & Amankwa, A. T. (2021). Comparing radiological presentations of first and second strains of COVID-19 infections in a low-resource country. Heliyon, 7(8), article number e07818. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e07818


INTRODUCTION: The novel corona virus popularly referred to as COVID-19 disease and SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019. It was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020. In Ghana, the first two cases of COVID-19 infection were recorded on March 13, 2020 with a strain imported from Europe. In December 2020, a new strain from South Africa was detected in Ghana which was associated with higher transmission rates, severity of the disease, and higher number of recorded deaths. Our study aimed to record notable differences and similarities between infections due to the initial, and second strains of COVID-19 infections detected in Ghana during the last 12-months.

METHOD: This was a retrospective study involving 50 patients infected with the first strain, and another 50 patients infected with the second strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Microsoft Excel-2013 was the analytical tool.

RESULTS: The data analysis supported publications suggesting that the new strain of the virus caused more severe infections, which were manifested on high resolution CT (HRCT) scans as more widespread alveolar disease, most commonly presenting as large areas of consolidation.

CONCLUSION: Despite numerous similarities in terms of the manifestation of COVID-19 infection on HRCT scans, notable difference supporting the notion of increased virulence and severity of disease were also recorded. The study findings demonstrate the need for heightened and sustained preventive measures needed to reduce, and eventually curb COVID-19 infection and mortality rates associated with the introduction of new virulent strains.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND license and permits non-commercial use of the work as published, without adaptation or alteration provided the work is fully attributed.
Publisher Keywords: COVID-19; Lung diseases; Multidetector computed tomography; SARS-CoV-2
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
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