The sublines BA.4 and BA.5, from the ômicron, were identified for the first time in Brazil in the month of May and, even in a short time, according to the 14th report made by the Instituto Todos pela Saúde (ITpS), they should reach their peak transmission until Saturday (11). In the survey, 123,829 PCR tests performed between May 7 and June 4 were analyzed by private laboratories in the Southeast and Midwest regions.
The analysis shows that, in this period, there was an increase from 10.4% to 44% in positive cases of the two subvariants and that the state that leads the cases is São Paulo, concentrating 38% of positivity for the infection, followed by Mato Grosso and Federal District, both with 36%.
It was also possible to trace the age of the groups whose positivity rate for BA.4 and BA.5 was higher. According to the survey, people over 80 had a significant growth, an increase from 29% to 44%.
In the last two weeks, an increase from 10% to 14% was identified among children up to 4 years old, and some stabilization among children and adolescents from 5 to 19 years old. The study also showed that in people over 30, the positivity rate is over 40%.
“Despite the more favorable situation, the rise in Covid-19 cases raises an alert for the most vulnerable, such as the elderly, immunosuppressed and unvaccinated people. Brazil urgently needs to expand vaccine coverage for Covid-19 and also for flu”, says, in a press release, immunologist Jorge Kalil, director-president of ITpS.
According to the Institute, the expectation is that, throughout June and July, there will be a decrease in the positivity of the subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 and in cases in general. In addition, the public health impacts of these waves are expected to be lower than those of BA.1 – responsible for the outbreak between December and January 2022.
ITpS has been monitoring the arrival and dissemination of Ômicron in Brazil since December, in partnership with private laboratories. Its action to combat the pandemic covers three fronts: strengthening epidemiological surveillance networks, data analysis and information.