With more than 16 million confirmed cases, it is safe to say that Brazil is one of the most affected countries by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With this in mind, Fernando Bozza (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), Brazil) ISARIC’s member network Principal Investigator, joined other researchers in the analyses of data with the aim to compare the burden of COVID-19 hospitalisations during the first and second waves in Brazil. They used data from the national surveillance system (SIVEP-Gripe) and analysed admissions characteristics, outcomes and use of resources of over a million COVID-19 patients admitted from February 2020 to May 2021.
They found that the number of weekly hospital admissions increased by 60% during the second wave (14,220 vs. 22,703) with more hypoxaemic patients (73% vs. 83%), increased number of patients requiring ventilatory support (noninvasive: 6,746 vs 11,773; invasive: 2,452 vs 3,747), and higher mortality (35.6% vs. 38.7%). The use of ICU was similar (approximately 37% in both periods). The second wave was simultaneous with the dominance of the gamma variant in the country.
The study, COVID-19 hospital admissions: Brazil’s first and second waves compared was recently published at the Lancet Respiratory Medicine. The researchers also made the publication’s electronic supplementary material available as well as the code and data used for the analysis.
In addition to the study, the research team launched the SIVEP COVID-19 Brazil app to monitor the progression of COVID-19 hospital admissions in Brazil. This app is updated weekly when new surveillance data from the Brazilian Ministry of Health is released.