Released this Thursday (9/11), the new Fiocruz InfoGripe Bulletin highlights the maintenance of a heterogeneous scenario of Covid-19 cases in the different Brazilian states. On the one hand, the analysis points to an increase in weekly hospitalizations associated with Covid-19 in Bahia, following the growth already seen in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and São Paulo. On the other hand, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul and Paraná are already showing signs of a possible interruption in the increase in weekly cases. The Federal District, in turn, joins Rio de Janeiro in the panorama of growth reversal.
Based on data entered into the Influenza Epidemiological Surveillance Information System (Sivep-Gripe) until November 6th, the study refers to Epidemiological Week (SE) 44 (October 29th to November 4th). Laboratory results indicate that around 15% of new weekly cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) due to Covid-19 are children aged 0 to 4 years old, which reinforces the vaccination strategy for this age group.
“Before the vaccination of the adult population, these children represented only around 1% of these hospitalizations. With adults more protected by vaccines, young children (many are not yet up to date with the Covid-19 vaccine) became part of of the age groups most affected by serious cases of the disease, second only to the elderly. That’s why it’s so important that we vaccinate our young children. It’s something similar to what we see in the flu itself, for example”, highlights the researcher from the Scientific Computing Program from Fiocruz (Procc/Fiocruz) and coordinator of InfoGripe, Marcelo Gomes
The researcher also assesses that, with up-to-date vaccination and the use of a mask in specific situations, it will be possible to reduce the risk of transmitting the Covid-19 virus. “For those who have signs of a respiratory infection, cold, flu, cough, sneezing, among other symptoms, the advice is to wear a good mask to protect the rest of the population. Ideally, anyone who presents these symptoms should stay at home and rest. This way, it will be possible to recover better and also protect other people from the disease”, says the researcher.
Evolution of SARS cases by age group
Between the months of September and October 2023, children up to 4 years of age represented approximately 15% of new weekly cases of SARS due to Covid-19. This percentage is only lower than that presented by patients aged 60 to 79 years and over 80 years of age, both groups accounting for around 30% of weekly cases of SARS due to Covid-19, each.
InfoGripe found signs of stability or fluctuation in SARS cases in children and adolescents, but continued slow increase in the adult population, especially in the group over 65 years of age. The increase in SARS cases in this age group is a reflection of the growth in positive cases for Covid-19, starting in September, especially in the southern half of the country (Central-West, Southeast and South).
States and capitals
The update points out that seven states show signs of growth in the long-term trend: Bahia (BA), Ceará (CE), Maranhão (MA), Rio Grande do Norte (RN), Rio Grande do Sul (RS), Santa Catarina ( SC) and São Paulo (SP). In BA, RS, SC and SP, the increase is observed in the age groups of the adult population, due to Sars-CoV-2 (Covid-19).
In Goiás, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul and Paraná, states that, in previous bulletins, presented an alert for cases of SARS due to Covid-19 in the elderly population, a possible interruption in growth is already observed. Also in the Federal District and Rio de Janeiro, the sign of the beginning of a fall stands out.
In Maranhão, growth is concentrated in younger children. In Ceará and Rio Grande in the North, there is a slow increase in growth and concentration also in this age group, with a small fluctuation in the elderly population.
In Espirito Santo, it is not yet possible to identify whether there is beginning of growth or just fluctuation in the population after 65 years of age.
Among the capitals, six show signs of growth: Curitiba (PR), Florianópolis (SC), Maceió (AL), Porto Alegre (RS), Salvador (BA) and São Paulo (SP). In Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Salvador and São Paulo, an increase has been observed mainly in the elderly population, due to cases of Covid-19. Florianópolis and Maceió have a signal that is still compatible with oscillation. In the pilot plan and surroundings of Brasília, there is already evidence of the beginning of a decline, joining Rio de Janeiro, which had already presented this reversal in the previous bulletin, as previously reported.
Reported SARS cases and deaths in Brazil
Data relating to laboratory results point to the maintenance of a sign of growth in positive cases for Sars-CoV-2, especially in the Central-West, Southeast and South regions, although it is not yet clear in the North and Northeast (with the exception of the state of Bahia). Influenza, RSV and rhinovirus maintain signs of decline or stability. The current scenario suggests that reported cases of SARS, regardless of the presence of fever, show stability in the long-term trend (last six weeks) and a decline in the short-term trend (last three weeks).
Regarding the epidemiological year 2023, 155,628 cases of SARS have already been reported, 60,959 (39.2%) with a positive laboratory result for a respiratory virus, 78,524 (50.5%) negative, and at least 8,078 (5.2%) awaiting laboratory results. Among the positive cases this year, 7.7% are influenza A; 4% are influenza B; 35.1% are RSV; and 32.4% are Sars-CoV-2 (Covid-19). In the last four epidemiological weeks, the prevalence among positive cases was 1.2% for influenza A; 0.6% for influenza B; 9.5% for RSV; and 60% Sars-CoV-2.
Regarding deaths from SARS, regardless of the presence of fever, 9,546 have already been recorded, 4,883 (51.2%) with a positive laboratory result for a respiratory virus, 4,001 (41.9%) negative and at least 170 (1, 8%) awaiting laboratory results. Among the positive death records due to SARS in the current year, 10.1% were due to influenza A; 5.1% due to influenza B; 7.4% due to RSV; and 70.4% by Sars-CoV-2 (Covid-19). In the last four epidemiological weeks, the prevalence of SARS deaths was 0% for influenza A; 0.6% for influenza B; 0.6% for RSV; and 82.5% for Covid-19.