UFS Portal – One in two cities with high mortality from covid-19 in children and adolescents is in the NE

Sergipe has 8 municipalities with a high death rate and 22 with a high risk of cases

Half of the 40 Brazilian municipalities with the highest mortality rates from covid-19 among children and adolescents are in the Northeast region. This is what an epidemiological study on cases and deaths caused by the disease in the pediatric population points out. The results of the work were recently published in the journal The Lance Regional Health – Americasone of the most renowned in the world in the area of ​​health.

The research analyzed the incidence and mortality from the infection among people aged 0 to 19 years, in the period between March 2020 and October 2021. Ten researchers from two Brazilian universities and a British one who signed the publication draw attention to the scarcity of data on the geographic distribution of cases and risk factors for death from covid-19 in children and adolescents.

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In the analyzed period, Brazil registered 33,991 cases and 2,424 deaths in the pediatric population. These numbers were associated in the analysis with socioeconomic indicators and the availability of health care resources, such as the number of pediatric and outpatient hospital beds, medical and nursing coverage by municipality, unemployment rates, percentage of illiteracy, collection services sewage or garbage, and percentage of households with per capita income below half the minimum wage.

“The main mortality risk groups were identified in the municipalities of the North and Northeast, which are the regions with the worst socioeconomic indicators and the greatest health disparities in the country,” emphasizes the publication’s leader and professor at the University’s Department of Medicine. Federal of Sergipe (DMEL-UFS), Victor Santana Santos.

Victor Santana Santos is an epidemiologist and professor of Medicine at UFS. Photo: Adilson Andrade/Ascom UFS

According to the researcher, although the population aged 0 to 19 represents only 1.9% of confirmed cases and 0.5% of deaths recorded by the new coronavirus in Brazil, the age group reaches 23.6 deaths per million children in the country, having one of the highest mortality rates in the world.

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Cases in the pediatric population

The analysis reveals the high incidence of the new coronavirus in children and adolescents in 86 Brazilian municipalities. Among the states with the largest number of cities with the highest case rates in the country, Sergipe leads the survey with 22 high-risk locations. Then, Rio Grande do Sul with 15, and Mato Grosso, 14. The index is calculated from the cases for every 100 thousand people aged between 0 and 19 years old.

Deaths of children and adolescents

The mortality rate from the new coronavirus for every 100 thousand inhabitants in this age group of the population was considered high in 40 cities in the country in the analyzed period. There were 20 municipalities located in the Northeast, 8 in the South, 6 in the North and 6 in the Southeast.

“Describing the geographic areas with the highest risk of mortality from covid-19 in children and adolescents seeks to help public policy managers in the allocation of resources to mitigate contamination in this public, as well as expanding the health network to areas with the greatest need for care. population,” ponders the professor.

+ 40 municipalities with high mortality (0-19 years)*
COUNTY state
Alto Alegre RR
amajari RR
aquidaban IF
Barra D’Alcântara IP
Gold Bar TO
spouts MG
Mouthpiece IF
grassland SC
Mines Central MG
cumaru FOOT
Araguaia Forest SHOVEL
Goiatins TO
iracema RR
gold lagoon FOOT
South Lindoia SC
machiné LOL
Maruim IF
Monsignor Tabosa EC
Monte Alegre de Sergipe IF
orleans SC
Mayan steps SC
Pau Brasil BA
Paulo Jacinto AL
little MG
Serrated Bridge SC
Port of Stones AL
potiraguá BA
own IF
breakangle AL
creek IF
salesópolis SP
Salty IF
Santa Branca SP
Santana do Mundaú AL
Sao Joao do Manteninha MG
San Miguel dos Milagres AL
Roof tile IF
sand land LOL
Tucunduva LOL
Varzea Grande IP
*In alphabetic order. Source: Data extracted from the survey

Sergipe also ranks first among the states with the highest number of locations with the highest mortality rates. Eight municipalities in the state with a high risk of death in the pediatric population were observed. Next, Alagoas (5), Santa Catarina (5), Minas Gerais (4), Rio Grande do Sul (3), Roraima (3), Bahia (2), Pernambuco (2), Piauí (2), São Paulo (2), Pará (1) and Ceará (1).

Mortality by age group

By age stratum, 19 Brazilian municipalities had high mortality rates among children aged 0-4 years. In the population aged 5-9 years, only three cities in the country had high rates. The three located in Sergipe. Three locations with high rates for children aged 10-14 years were also identified, and 7 municipalities in this condition for the age group of 15-19 years.

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Spatial distribution of A) cases and B) deaths from covid-19 in the pediatric population.  Photo: Playback/The Lancet
Spatial distribution of A) cases and B) deaths from covid-19 in the pediatric population. Photo: Playback/The Lancet

“Our findings reinforce the need for immunization of children under 4 years of age, as the safety of vaccines for this population has been proven. Continuous monitoring of cases and deaths of children with covid-19 is necessary, even after vaccine adoption, to identify potential changes in the dynamics of the pandemic,” adds the epidemiologist.

obstetric population

This is the second population-based epidemiological study published by the researchers in The Lancet. In September last year, they pointed out that 50 of the 5,570 Brazilian municipalities were at high risk of contamination by covid-19 for pregnant and postpartum women, between March 2020 and June 2021.

In the analyzed period, Paraíba (13) had the largest number of cities in this condition. Then there were the states of Ceará (7), Amazonas (7), São Paulo (7), Rio Grande do Sul (6), Minas Gerais (4), Paraná (3), Mato Grosso (2) and Santa Catarina. (1).

Authors of publication

In addition to Victor Santana Santos, the publication is signed by researchers Paulo Ricardo Saquete Martins Filho, Ricardo Queiroz Gurgel, Thayane Santos Siqueira, Sarah Cristina Fontes Vieira, Aline de Siqueira Alves Lopes, from the Postgraduate Program in Health Sciences at UFS; José Rodrigo Santos Silva, from the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Sciences at UFS.

The research is also authored by the researchers Maria Augusta Ricardo da Rocha Santos, from the Nursing Department at the Federal University of Alagoas (UFAL); and Ana Cubas Atienza and Luis Eduardo Cuevas, from the Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Tropical Medicine, University of Liverpool.

The Lancet Regional Health – Americas is one of the medical journals in The Lancet’s set of global-initiated journals to advocate for quality and access to healthcare in all regions of the world.

Josaphat Neto – UFS Radio