COVID-19 in Libya: Immunity and Protective Measures?

Main Article Content

Moftah Hussin Alhagamhmad
Ahmad Abdulkader
Saleh Megil


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a pandemic illness and so far, there are almost 8860331 confirmed infected cases worldwide concentrating mainly in Americas and Europe, whereas data are less prominent in African countries. In Libya, the preliminary reports revealed there are small numbers of COVID-19 confirmed cases, which subsequently showed only a steady rise with no yet a clear explanation. In way we might find a reason behind Libya having a relatively small number of COVID-19 cases, the literature therefore was searched for all relevant journal articles and published reports that dealt with COVID-19 outbreaks. According to the latest released data, the incidence rate of COVID-19 in Libya remained relatively low as compared to the other countries, where only 571 out of almost nine millions total confirmed cases across the globe were documented in Libya. Further, there is a strong claim that Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, a part of national immunization program of many countries including Libya, might offer at least a partial protection against COVID-19. Cross-protective immunity triggered by other related viral infections is an additional immunological theory might explain the current low trend of COVID-19 epidemic in Libya.

COVID-19, epidemiology, BCG, immunity

Article Details

How to Cite
Alhagamhmad, M. H., Abdulkader, A., & Megil, S. (2020). COVID-19 in Libya: Immunity and Protective Measures?. Asian Journal of Research in Infectious Diseases, 4(3), 1-4.
Short Communication


Lai CC, Shih TP, Ko WC, Tang HJ. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and corona virus disease-2019 (COVID-19): The epidemic and the challenges. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2020; 34:1-6.

Lu R, Zhao X, Li J, Niu P, Yang B, Wu H. Genomic characterization and epidemiology of 2019 novel coronavirus: Implications for virus origins and receptor binding. Lancet. 2020;395:565-574.

Ludvigsson JF. Systematic review of COVID‐19 in children shows milder cases and a better prognosis than adults. Acta Paediatr. 2020;109:1088-95.

Sohrabi C, Alsafi Z, O’Neill N, Khan M, Kerwan A, Al-Jabir A, Iosifidis C, Agha R. World Health Organization declares global emergency: A review of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Int J Surg. 2020; 45:1-6.

Gasibat Q, Raba AA, Abobaker A. COVID-19 in Libya, fewer cases so far. Any speculations? Disaster Med Public. 2020; 29:1-4.

Daw MA. Preliminary epidemiological analysis of suspected cases of corona virus infection in Libya. Travel medicine and infectious disease. 2020;34:1-5.


Elhadi M, Momen AA, Abdulhadi OM. A COVID-19 case in Libya acquired in Saudi Arabia. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2020;24:1-4.

Ayoub BM. COVID-19 vaccination clinical trials should consider multiple doses of BCG. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2020;75:159-161.

Office WT. Statistical report of WHO/UNICEF BCG vaccination programmes. Bulletin of the WHO. 1955; 12:301-303.

Kleinnijenhuis J, Quintin J, Preijers F, Benn CS, Joosten LA, Jacobs C, Van Loenhout J, Xavier RJ, Aaby P, Van Der Meer JW, Van Crevel R. Long-lasting effects of BCG vaccination on both heterologous Th1/Th17 responses and innate trained immunity. J Innate Immun. 2014;6:152-158.

Arts RJ, Moorlag SJ, Novakovic B, Li Y, Wang SY, Oosting M, Kumar V, Xavier RJ, Wijmenga C, Joosten LA, Reusken CB. BCG vaccination protects against experimental viral infection in humans through the induction of cytokines associated with trained immunity. Cell Host Microbe. 2018;23:89-100.

Moorlag SJ, Arts RJ, Van Crevel R, Netea MG. Non-specific effects of BCG vaccine on viral infections. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2019;25:1473-8.

Miller A, Reandelar MJ, Fasciglione K, Roumenova V, Li Y, Otazu GH. Correlation between universal BCG vaccination policy and reduced morbidity and mortality for COVID-19: An epidemiological study. MedRxiv. 2020;1:1-10.

Chen IC, Loh JP, Chuah CX, Gao QH, Sun Y, Ng SH, Koh WH, Goh EH, Zhao X, Tambyah PA, Cook AR. Evidence for cross-protection against subsequent febrile respiratory illness episodes from prior infections by different viruses among Singapore Military Recruits 2009–2014. J Infect Dis. 2019;24:1913-23.