Children in Brazil are dying from Covid-19 at alarmingly high rates

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Alex Glailson, a nurse technician attends a child from the riverside population on board the UBSF hospital boat amidst the coronavirus pandemic in Ilha de Marajo, Brazil.
  • Children are dying from Covid-19 in Brazil at higher rates than in the US.
  • Brazil recorded 832 deaths in children below 6, while the US had 241 deaths in kids of all ages.
  • Doctors told The New York Times the P.1 variant could be causing the higher death toll.
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Children are dying from Covid-19 in Brazil at higher rates than in the US.

Of the 434,000 recorded Covid deaths in Brazil, 832 were children below the age of 6, The New York Times reported citing data from Brazil's health ministry.

In the US, 241 children have died from Covid-19 as of February 11, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association. The group used state data for the analysis, and the age range for "children" varies among state to state.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded just 52 known Covid-19 deaths among children 4-years-old and younger between March and December 2020. The US has recorded more than 582,000 total deaths from Covid-19 so far.

"It's a number that's absurdly high," Fátima Marinho, an epidemiologist at the University of São Paulo, told The Times regarding the death toll in children. "We haven't seen this anywhere else in the world."

Doctors studying the virus in Brazil told The Times the P.1 variant, first identified in Brazil, could be the cause of the higher death toll. The P.1 variant is twice as contagious as the original Covid-19 virus and can evade antibody responses in people who already got sick.

There have been 497 reported cases of the P.1 in the US, according to the CDC.

A representative from Brazil's health ministry was not immediately available for comment.

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