COVID-19 Pandemic: Extent and Variation of Epidemiological Parameters in Iraqi Governorates
AbstractBackground: COVID-19 is a dramatic event that covered almost all countries, regions and territories across the world. Characteristically, the disease has high incidence rate, high mortality and enormous impact on life and health. Objective: This article describes the main epidemiological features of COVIUD-19 in Iraq during one year period. Methods: The data used in this study were record-based related to confirmed cases of COVID-19 over a one-year period of time (February 24, 2020 to February 23, 2021). Data were compiled in an inventory containing numbers of cases confirmed by the Ministry of health official outlets supported by two more sources to affirm the consistency in numbers of daily cases. Excel sheets and functions were used to prepare epidemic curves. The tables were prepared manually. The study was approved by The Council of College of Medicine (Order No 7/37. 2656 on October 5, 2020), and by the Central Research Committee at Directorate General of Basrah Health Services Results: The results at national and governorate levels showed an early low scale incidence rate with subsequent characteristics wavy pattern, with two major waves the first started by the end of May 2020 and the second by the end of January 2021. Apart from the fluctuation, no other uniform feature could be identified across different governorates. In general incidence rate and cause-specific mortality rates steadily increasing with time. The cases fatality ratio was declining with time. Governorates showed great variation in the three epidemiological parameters (incidence rate, case-fatality ratio and cause-specific mortality rate. Conclusion: The behaviour of COVID-19 in Iraq as elsewhere in the world is difficult to understand. The characteristic fluctuations are likely to reflect factors related to virus behaviour, population behaviour and public health interventions.
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