Minireviews
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Virol. Jul 25, 2021; 10(4): 156-167
Published online Jul 25, 2021. doi: 10.5501/wjv.v10.i4.156
Exploiting epidemiological data to understand the epidemiology and factors that influence COVID-19 pandemic in Libya
Abdusalam S Mahmoud, Abdunaser S Dayhum, Abdunnabi A Rayes, Badereddin B Annajar, Ibrahim M Eldaghayes
Abdusalam S Mahmoud, Abdunaser S Dayhum, Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tripoli, Tripoli 13662, Libya
Abdunnabi A Rayes, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tripoli, Tripoli 13662, Libya
Badereddin B Annajar, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medical Technology, University of Tripoli, Tripoli 13662, Libya
Badereddin B Annajar, National Center for Disease Control, Tripoli 71171, Libya
Ibrahim M Eldaghayes, Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tripoli, Tripoli 13662, Libya
Author contributions: All authors contributed to study design and writing the review article; all authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/Licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Ibrahim M Eldaghayes, PhD, Professor, Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tripoli, Sidi Almasri Street, Tripoli 13662, Libya. ibrahim.eldaghayes@vetmed.edu.ly
Received: December 23, 2020
Peer-review started: December 24, 2020
First decision: March 8, 2021
Revised: March 21, 2021
Accepted: May 20, 2021
Article in press: May 20, 2021
Published online: July 25, 2021
Abstract

There were only 75 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) reported in Libya by the National Center for Disease Control during the first two months following the first confirmed case on 24 March 2020. However, there was dramatic increase in positive cases from June to now; as of 19 November 2020, approximately 357940 samples have been tested by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, and the results have revealed a total number of 76808 confirmed cases, 47587 recovered cases and 1068 deaths. The case fatality ratio was estimated to be 1.40%, and the mortality rate was estimated to be 15.90 in 100000 people. The epidemiological situation markedly changed from mid-July to the beginning of August, and the country proceeded to the cluster phase. COVID-19 has spread in almost all Libyan cities, and this reflects the high transmission rate of the virus at the regional level with the highest positivity rates, at an average of 14.54%. Apparently, there is an underestimation of the actual number of COVID-19 cases due to the low testing capacity. Consequently, the Libyan health authority needs to initiate a large-scale case-screening process and enforce testing capacities and contact testing within the time frame, which is not an easy task. Advisably, the Libyan health authority should improve the public health capacities and conduct strict hygienic measures among the societies and vaccinate as many people against COVID-19 to minimize both the case fatality ratio and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic in Libya.

Keywords: COVID-19, Pandemic, Epidemiological patterns, Potential factors, Prevalence, Libya

Core Tip: This review is aimed to explain and show potential reasons for having only 75 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) reported in Libya during the first two months following the first confirmed case till hundreds of positive cases everyday in the following months. The epidemiological situation markedly changed from mid-July to the beginning of August as the country proceeded to the cluster phase and COVID-19 has spread in almost all Libyan cities. The Libyan health authority needs to improve its service in order to do better job to control the pandemic and reduce the virus spread within the country.