The InfoGripe Bulletin, released this Thursday (2nd) by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), indicates a possible stabilization in cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SRAG) in Brazil. The trend, however, is for a break in the fall, which has continued since the end of May. Signs of a likely growth, released last week, have not been confirmed.
The study analyzes the week between August 22nd and 28th and is based on the records in the Information System for the Epidemiological Surveillance of Influenza (SivepGripe), of the Ministry of Health. age. In an interview with CNN, the researcher and coordinator of Infogripe, Marcelo Gomes, says that with this division it is possible to follow the data more accurately.
“We can do richer assessments in each region, and help each state do more detailed follow-up. With stratification, we were able to analyze the impact of vaccination coverage by comparing data from people who have already been immunized and those who are still in the process. At the beginning of vaccination, for example, we saw a different behavior in the elderly, because the immunizing agent was having an effect on this public, and the same thing happens now in the population of young adults”, he says.
The researcher also recalls that in children and adolescents, between 0 and 19 years old, a stabilization was observed in cases at a very high level, when compared to the entire pandemic. The current situation in this group is similar to the peak in March 2020.
“The problem is that, with the advance of vaccination, we have lowered our guard so much, with easing after easing, that the level of circulation of the respiratory virus is extremely high. The highest values in the younger population indicate that community transmission remains at a high level. Because of this high community transmission, we have not yet reached really safe numbers”, he says.
The data show that only the states of Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte and Espírito Santo show signs of growth in the last six weeks. However, in Rio de Janeiro, the bullish signal appears longer, since the second half of July.
“It is observed that in the states this trend has been driven mainly by severe cases in children and adolescents and by the population over 60 years old. In the case of Rio, for the population over 70 years of age, it is estimated that the current situation is already in a situation similar to that observed at the peak of the end of 2020”, says Gomes.
According to the researcher, the effect of immunosenescence, which is the aging of the immune system, could be one of the factors for this scenario. Another explanation is the high transmission in the region and, therefore, Gomes emphasizes that the case of Rio should serve as a lesson to all the other 26 Federative Units.
“The transmission levels in the state of Rio de Janeiro should serve as an example not to be followed. It would be much worse if there was no vaccination, you can be sure of that. But it is necessary to understand that the vaccine alone will not do it. It’s no use relaxing and abandoning protective measures now, such as a mask and alcohol gel”, he points out.
The InfoGripe researchers highlight that the current situation highlights the need for caution in relation to flexibility as long as the downward trend in cases has not been maintained long enough for values to reach lower levels. It is also recommended that the authorities reassess the easing already implemented in the country’s states.
*Under supervision of Isabelle Resende