Clin Case Rep Int | Volume 7, Issue 1 | Research Article | Open Access

Environmental Risk Factors Contributing to the Transmission of COVID-19 in Zambia: A Cross-Sectional Study in Lusaka District

Chishimba K1, Libonda L1*, Velu RM2, Kamboyi HK1, Hakoonde T3 and Bumbangi FN1

1Department of Research and Grants, Eden University, Lusaka, Zambia
2Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
3Department of Environmental Health, Evelyn Hone College, Lusaka, Zambia

*Correspondance to: Liyali Libonda 

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Background: A propagative increase in SARS-CoV-2 transmission has been witnessed in Zambia since the index case was reported in March 2020. Although sociocultural factors including movement patterns, people’s livelihood, and way of life have been demonstrated to influence SARS-CoV-2 transmission dynamics, the role of environmental risk factors has not been adequately documented. The aim of the study was to investigate environmental risk factors contributing to the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in Zambia using a cross-sectional study. Results: The positivity rates were 10.5% cell phones, 5.3% door knobs, 2.7% remote controls and 2.6% beddings. All the other surfaces came out negative. The sex proportion of the respondents was 55% and 45% males and females respectively. Regarding occupancy density, 37.5% (15/40) resided in a 2 to 3-roomed house, 32.5% (13/40) resided in a 4 to 7 roomed house and 30% (12/40) resided in >7-roomed house. Of the 40 respondents, 75% (30/40) used recyclable face masks while 25% (10/40) used non-recyclable face masks. For the non-recyclable face masks, 30% of the respondents indicated incineration as a disposal method. A correlation coefficient of 0.25 was documented for the association between occupancy density and surface contamination. Conclusion: The study revealed that most environmental surfaces particularly mobile phones were rarely disinfected and were most likely to contribute to the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the community. Furthermore, the majority of the respondents used recyclable face masks which are easily washable. However, those who used non-recyclable face masks disposed of them indiscriminately which has the potential of contaminating the environment and further lead to the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Environment; Households; Risk factors; SARS-CoV-2


Chishimba K, Libonda L, Velu RM, Kamboyi HK, Hakoonde T, Bumbangi FN. Environmental Risk Factors Contributing to the Transmission of COVID-19 in Zambia: A Cross-Sectional Study in Lusaka District. Clin Case Rep Int. 2023; 7: 1507.

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