Brazil new variant found to be more deadly for young people

Brazil new strain of coronavirus found to be more deadly for young people
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The new Brazil variant is proving to be more contagious and deadly for young people in their 20s, according to a new study published on the website MedRxiv.

The figures are still relatively small compared to the death rates of elderly people. Meanwhile, deaths doubled among those in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, up to 0.32 percent, 0.9 percent, and 2.1 percent, respectively. 

There were no changes in the death rates of children or teenagers.

The researchers – led by University of Parana, Curitiba – said the findings “should raise alarms”.

They said: “Taken together, these preliminary findings suggest significant increases in case fatality rates in young and middle-aged adults after identification of a novel SARS-CoV-2 strain circulating in Brazil, and this should raise public health alarms.” 

The study looked at data from Parana – the largest state in southern Brazil – on 553,518 cases diagnosed from September 2020 through March 17, 2021. 

It is not entirely clear why young people are dying more of this variant than the original one, scientists said. 

It could be because hospitals are under extreme pressure.

However, the study noted that the increase in deaths coincided with a steady decline in overall cases over two months, suggesting it is the variant itself that is more lethal.

The new strain, known as P1, has taken off in Brazil, where highs of 90,000 cases are being diagnosed per day.

Health systems are on the brink of collapse with more hospital patients than any point in the pandemic.

President Jair Bolsonaro – who told Brazilian’s to “stop whining” about the coronavirus earlier this month – has been critised for failures to control the outbreak, described as the “biggest genocide” in the country’s history. 

Daily deaths are currently accounting for a quarter of the world’s total, with roughly 2,600 recorded each day.

Southern Brazil is seeing a sudden rise in Covid deaths among young and middle-aged adults, promoting the recent research.

Scientists have previously found signals that P1 was more deadly in the city it emerged – Manaus – but were unable to tease out whether this was only a coincidence.