She was one of the youngest victims of the Corona epidemic: Graciane da Silva († 28) from Rio de Janeiro. In June 2020, she died of the virus after just ten days. Da Silva had no previous illnesses and left behind a four-year-old son. Her death hit the headlines because at the time it was also unusual in Brazil for it to kill such a young person.
A year later things are different in Brazil. Hospitals across the country are reporting that more and more young people are in intensive care because of the coronavirus – and many of them are dying there too. That’s what CNN reports.
Majority of those infected are between 30 and 50 years old
Across Brazil, ICU doctors would say the same thing right now: with the current wave of infections in Brazil, patients are younger than ever. The majority of those infected who come into contact with a doctor are between 30 and 50 years old.
“The number of serious illnesses is also much higher than during the first wave,” says Luan Matos de Menezes, a doctor who works in an intensive care unit in Manaus.
An impression that supports a study recently published by the Brazilian Ministry of Health: 27 percent of all deaths related to corona infection currently affect people between the ages of 30 and 59. That is seven percent more than in December last year.
60 percent of younger patients with a corona infection end up in the intensive care unit – according to the CNN report in Brazil, this number is also higher than it has ever been during this pandemic.
Variation plays a big role
But why have young people in Brazil suddenly become more susceptible to the virus? Scientists believe this is related to at least one of the known virus mutations in Brazil. The so-called P.1 variant of the E484K mutation is particularly suspected.
According to a recent study, it is up to 2.2 times easier to transmit – and thus causes many new infections. In eight Brazilian states, more than half of all corona cases can be traced back to “worrying variants”. The national health research institute Fiocruz reported on March 4th. The P.1 variant plays a major role in this study, but the British and South African variants were also found.
However, when it comes to mortality, there is still no hard scientific data in Brazil either. “It’s possible that these new variants are more deadly, but we don’t have any scientific data to back it up,” Jesem Orellana, a Brazilian epidemiologist, told CNN. All that is known is that the P.1 variant in particular is more transferable and that it plays a major role in this second wave in Brazil.
In Brazil, too, the vaccination program is progressing slowly but steadily. Because older people, in particular, are vaccinated first, this could skew the number of cases and deaths.
The government is not taking a united front against the spread
To make matters worse, the government in Brazil is not taking unified action against the further spread of the virus. President Jair Bolsonaro considers the virus to be a common cold – his supporters believe this trivialization and live as if there were no corona virus. Scientists fear that if the virus spreads uncontrolled, new mutations or variants will arise again and again, which will make fighting the virus even more difficult.
Over 12 million people have contracted the virus in Brazil. After the USA, Brazil is the country with the highest number of Covid-19 sufferers. So far, almost 300,000 people have died from the coronavirus. (fr)
3000 corona deaths in one day: So crowded the people in Brazil!(00:48)
Published: 03/25/2021, 10:41 am
Last updated: 03/25/2021, 11:14 am