Brazil Covid variant three times more deadly for adults below 45, study says

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Brazil's deadly new coronavirus variant is three times deadlier for people under 45 compared to previous strains, according to research.

Brazilian public health institute Fiocruz has revealed that infection rates among Brazilians in their 30s, 40s, and 50s are up by 565%, 626% and 525% respectively since the new year.

The rise in cases across the country as a whole is lower at 316%, which suggests the virus infections are making “a shift to younger age groups”, News.com.au reports.

Worrying new evidence also shows that young people are more likely to die from the new strain known as P. 1, compared to earlier Covid-19 infections.

Between February and March this year, the number of adults under the age of 45 in Brazil who needed intensive care for coronavirus was three times greater than in September to November 2020, the Brazilian Association of Intensive Care Medicine said.

Deaths caused by Covid-19 doubled over the period for the same age bracket, increasing from 13.1% to 38.5% between the first and second waves.

Dr Anne Menezes from Getulio Vargas Hospital in the jungle city of Manaus, told Al Jazeera that what healthcare professionals are seeing daily, backs up the shocking data.

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Dr Menezes, 29, said: “Last year, we had more critical elderly patients. Now, it’s completely distinct. We’re dealing with a substantial number of severe patients in their 30s to 50s.

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“We’ve recently lost patients my age. It could have been me. We fought hard to save them, but there comes a point when you have to stop.”

According to recent studies by the University of Sao Paulo, Oxford University and Imperial College London, the P.1. variant is 2.2 times more transmissible.

It is also up to 61% more capable of reinfecting people who had been infected with an earlier strain of the virus, News.com.au reports.

  • Coronavirus
  • Hospital

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