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COVID-19 and sickle cell disease in Bahrain

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-12-08, 11:39 authored by Abdulkarim Abdulrahman, Salman AlAli, Omar Yaghi, Mohammed Shabaan, Sameer Otoom, Stephen L. Atkin, Manaf AlQahtani

Introduction: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a newly identified strain of the coronavirus family that has been shown to affect the hemoglobin beta chain, the same chain that has sickle cell disease (SCD) mutation. This study was undertaken to see if COVID-19 infection increased disease severity in patients with SCD.

Methods: Mass screening of the Bahraini population was undertaken between February and April 2020.

Results: A total of 38,092 Bahraini people were tested for COVID-19 during this period; 378 (1%) were SCD patients. Six patients with SCD had COVID-19 (1.6%): three remained asymptomatic, two had mild symptoms and one required oxygen therapy. The SCD patients had a similar average length of stay when compared with non-SCD COVID-19 patients (10.7 days).

Conclusion: The infection rate, clinical course and viral clearance seen for the SCD patients with COVID-19 were no different to those without SCD.



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Published Citation

AbdulRahman A. et al. COVID-19 and sickle cell disease in Bahrain. Int J Infect Dis. 2020;101:14-16.

Publication Date

24 September 2020

PubMed ID



  • RCSI Bahrain




  • Published Version (Version of Record)