Why are there more Covid diagnoses among young people in Brazil?

Experts struggle to explain why there appears to be an increase in severe sickness and death among younger people.

Tags: Coronavirus
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Flag of Brazil
Flag of Brazil

There have been an increasing number of Covid-19 diagnoses defined as severe and deaths among young people in Brazil of late, doctors have told CNN.

CNN said it had spoken to nearly a dozen ICU physicians and nurses since mid-January, across multiple hospitals in several Brazilian states, who noted that ICU beds are filled with more young people than before.

"We have otherwise healthy patients that are between 30 and 50-years-old and that is the profile for the majority of patients," Dr. Pedro Archer, a 33 year-old intensive care physician at a public hospital in Rio de Janeiro, explained. "That is the big differentiator in this latest wave."

CNN cited an AFP analysis of Brazilian Health Ministry data which found that the number of people aged 30-59 represented about 27% of Covid-19 deaths over the past three months or so -- a 7% increase from pre-December numbers.

The AFP also found the share of the death toll for those aged 60 and over fell by 7% in that same time period.

Officials cited by CNN also said 60% of younger patients with Covid-19 needed ICU beds, a higher figure than before.

"Multiple doctors" speculated that the "P1 variant" of coronavirus first appearing at the end of last year may have something to do with the demographic shift.

"It's possible that these new variants are more lethal but we don't have scientific data to confirm that," said Jesem Orellana, a Brazilian epidemiologist. "But what we do know is that the P.1 variant is more transmissible and that plays a big part in this second wave."

"Experts" cited in the report also pointed to the possibility that New Year and Carnival parties that young people take part in could have played a role.

Official data of Brazil's vaccine campaign indicates that since the campaign began on January 17 until March 23, 11.56 million people have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while 3.65 million are considered fully vaccinated.