Some COVID-19 vs. Malaria Numbers: Countries with Malaria have Virtually no Coronavirus Cases Reported

March 18th, 2020 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

…and countries with many COVID-19 cases have little to no malaria.

This subject has been making the rounds in recent days, much more in social media and lesser-known news outlets and not so much the mainstream media…

There is now considerable evidence from several countries (China, S. Korea, France, others?) that anti-malarial drugs, especially chloroquine, is effective at greatly reducing COVID-19 symptoms, and possibly preventing infection in the first place.

I downloaded the latest COVID-19 reported cases by country from the WHO as well as the incidence of malaria cases as of 2017. I calculated the COVID-19 incidence as the number per million total population, while the malaria numbers are reported per 1,000 “population at risk”.

It took a few hours to line everything up in Excel because of differences in naming of a few countries, no malaria data for countries where malaria has been essentially eradicated, and many countries where no COVID-19 cases have been reported.

I only have time to give some interesting bottom-line numbers. I encourage others to investigate this for themselves to see if the relationships are real.

If I sort all 234 countries by incidence of malaria, and compute the average incidence of malaria and the average incidence of COVID-19, the results are simply amazing: those countries with malaria have virtually no COVID-19 cases, and those countries with many COVID-19 cases have little to no malaria.

Here are the averages for the three country groupings:

Top 40 Malaria countries:

212.24 malaria per thousand = 0.2 COVID-19 cases per million

Next 40 Malaria countries:

7.30 malaria per thousand = 10.1 COVID-19 cases per million

Remaining 154 (non-)Malaria countries:

0.00 malaria per thousand = 68.7 COVID-19 cases per million

I tried plotting the individual country data on a graph but the relationship is so non-linear (almost all of the data lie on the horizontal and vertical axes) that the graph is almost useless.

This is based upon the total number of COVID-19 cases as of March 17, 2020 as tallied by the WHO.

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