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Brazil - Media rpt of AMIB survey: "In March, only 7% of patients with Covid in ICUs were over 80 years old" - April 17, 2021

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  • Brazil - Media rpt of AMIB survey: "In March, only 7% of patients with Covid in ICUs were over 80 years old" - April 17, 2021

    'There is no more risk group for Covid-19': understand why scientists advocate broad alert, especially for younger people

    Hospitalization of young people in Brazilian ICUs reached a record in the pandemic. In March, only 7% of patients with Covid in ICUs were over 80 years old, according to a survey by the Brazilian Association of Intensive Care Medicine (Amib).

    By Mariana Garcia, G1
    04/17/2021 17h52 Updated one day ago

    If in the first wave of Covid-19 the elderly were considered to be the risk group, after a year of pandemic, the profile changed. A survey by the Brazilian Association of Intensive Care Medicine (Amib) showed that, in March, 52% of hospitalizations in intensive care units were for people up to 40 years old.

    According to three experts heard by G1 , in the current scenario of the pandemic in Brazil, it is correct to say that we no longer have risk groups for the disease, but risky behavior.
    "In terms of illness, there is no longer a risk group. Today we see a greater number of people under 60, 50 years old, being hospitalized. This happens a lot because of the greater exposure, either for work, or in meetings. ", explains Raquel Stucchi, an infectologist at Unicamp and a consultant to the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases (SBI).

    Ethel Maciel, epidemiologist and professor at the Federal University of Esp?rito Santo (UFES), reinforces that everyone is at risk .
    ?We need to communicate this change in the profile of patients with Covid-19. With the new variants, young people are getting more sick, they are hospitalizing more, with the most severe form of the disease, even without comorbidities "- Ethel Maciel, epidemiologist

    The infectious disease specialist at Hospital Em?lio Ribas, Rosana Ritchmann, says that currently, caring for patients over 75 years old (a group that has already been vaccinated against Covid-19 in Brazil) is more rare.

    "There was a very big change in the age group. Today it is an exception to the rule that I treat patients over 75 years old. The cases still exist, but the vast majority of patients in this age group end up catching the disease between doses of vaccine."
    For the first time, young people are the majority in the ICUs of Covid do Brasil

    The experts explain that the new variants promoted a change in the profile of those affected by Covid-19 . ?When they started talking about the variant in England, they noticed a difference in the profile. Younger people, including children, getting sick . We hadn't seen it at first, ?says Maciel.
    But other factors may have contributed to this change, such as the behavior of young people in the pandemic. "The variant may have been a factor, but who is in contact with other people? Who is on public transport? Who is working? Who is going to clandestine parties? The young man!", Warns Richtmann.

    The vaccination may also have helped to change the age range . Amib data show that only 7% of patients with Covid in Brazilian ICUs in March were over 80 years old - a drop of 42% in comparison with the accumulated in the previous three months.
    "There was a significant reduction in mortality in the elderly , especially in those who have already completed the vaccination schedule. It has not yet zeroed, because some were contaminated before full protection, others did not take the second dose or were not vaccinated, but even so there was a decrease very expressive of mortality in this group ", explains Stucchi.

    This reduction in the mortality of the elderly reflects on the youngest. "We are already seeing a decrease in hospitalization and deaths in the group that is being vaccinated, which increases the proportion of younger people hospitalized, " adds Maciel.

    Vaccination and priority profile

    But if young people are now the most affected, why not start vaccinating this group? Maciel explains that Brazil needs to finalize the vaccination of the elderly, who were the ones who died the most in the world since the beginning of the pandemic.
    ?We need to finalize the vaccination of the elderly and then we will start vaccinating the younger group. We have already vaccinated health professionals of all ages. We will also start vaccinating people with comorbidities, from the age of 18, education professionals, security forces, essential workers. The younger population will join these new groups ?.

    Stucchi recalls that the mortality data still has a predominance of people over 60 years old (who have not yet been vaccinated in Brazil), even with the reduction.

    " The goal of vaccination is to decrease mortality, so you need to vaccinate whoever dies first . When we take mortality data, people over 60 are still at the top, as are people with comorbidities."

    " The lethality of the elderly, if they had not been vaccinated, would be much higher ", adds Richtmann. The infectologist explains that the whole world has worked with these priority groups.

    "We have to vaccinate the elderly, people with comorbidities, education professionals, security, public transport drivers. Even if we see a greater number of young people with severe Covid-19, it does not mean that they have a greater risk of die than a chronic kidney patient, for example ".