Study population and setting
This article presents epidemiologic and clinical features of the COVID-19 epidemic in Brazil up to May 31, 2020. This included estimating the basic reproductive number (R0) for Brazil and key municipalities, comparing these estimates with European countries, and identifying demographic factors associated with infection. Investigators also explored the association between socioeconomic status and COVID-19 geographic distribution.
Summary of Main Findings
Investigators analyzed 514,200 COVID-19 cases that were reported by 75% of municipalities across Brazil’s five regions. The most common symptoms among cases were cough, fever, and shortness of breath. The R0 for Brazil was 3.1 (95% Bayesian credible interval (BCI) 2.4-5.5). Investigators found this was higher, yet had overlapping 95% BCI intervals with European countries (Spain: 2.6, France: 2.5, United Kingdom: 2.6, and Italy: 2.5). Investigators found that census tracts with a higher per capita income were more likely to have cases of COVID-19, whereas census tracts with a lower per capita income were more likely to have cases of severe acute respiratory infections of unknown causes.
The study used multiple surveillance reporting systems and has a large population-based sample.
There was only individual level data for two of their surveillance reporting systems (i.e. REDCap and SIVEP-Gripe). Thus, investigators could not make individual level inferences concerning the association between socioeconomic status and COVID-19 diagnosis.
This is a detailed documentation of the nature of the COVID-19 epidemic in Brazil and can be useful in future efforts to improve surveillance and reporting in Brazil.
This review was posted on: 28 August 2020