Markedly Lower Rates of Coronavirus Infection and Fatality in Malaria-Endemic Regions – A Clue As to Treatment?

13 Pages Posted: 1 May 2020 Last revised: 12 May 2020

See all articles by Geoff Mitchell

Geoff Mitchell

University of Toledo - College of Medicine

Sadik Khuder, PhD

University of Toledo

Date Written: April 27, 2020


This comparative analysis of coronavirus infection and death among 2.4 billion persons around the world demonstrates a wide (two orders of magnitude or one hundred-fold) disparity in coronavirus fatality rates between well-developed and less-developed countries. The difference is backward or counterintuitive. The current data demonstrates the surprising fact that those in more affluent countries are about one hundred times more likely to become infected with coronavirus infection and die. This effect is most apparent when these countries are compared to countries with the highest rates of endemic malaria. It is known that the novel coronavirus also known as COVID-19 originated in Wuhan China and is transmitted from one country to another by travelers from a coronavirus-infested area. It is also known that travelers to malaria-endemic countries are likely to be taking antimalarial prophylaxis. There is also evidence that antimalarials, notably hydroxychloroquine, may have some efficacy in the treatment of coronavirus. In light of these facts, the mortality data presented here is highly probative for the hypothesis that prophylactic antimalarial use by its incoming visitors markedly attenuates a country’s coronavirus fatality rate.

Note: Funding: There was no funding for this paper.

Conflict of Interest: The author declares that he has no competing interests.

Keywords: coronavirus, COVID-19, mortality, antimalarial, decrease, Africa, death, disparity, protective, treatment, malaria, SARS-CoV-2

Suggested Citation

Mitchell, Geoff and Khuder, Sadik, Markedly Lower Rates of Coronavirus Infection and Fatality in Malaria-Endemic Regions – A Clue As to Treatment? (April 27, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Geoff Mitchell (Contact Author)

University of Toledo - College of Medicine ( email )

United States

Sadik Khuder

University of Toledo ( email )

United States

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