New coronavirus strain far deadlier for 18-45 group

A new coronavirus variant, spreading around the world, is proving to be up to three times more deadly for young people.

The new coronavirus variant sweeping through Brazil, and spreading to other nations around the world, is proving to be up to three times more deadly for young people, according to research.

It is also spreading more quickly among younger people with cases among Brazilians in their 30s, 40s, and 50s are up by 565 per cent, 626 per cent and 525 per cent respectively since the beginning of January, according to Brazilian public health institute Fiocruz.

In comparison, during the same periods the increase in the overall population was much lower at 316 per cent, suggesting the virus infections are making “a shift to younger age groups”.

There is also growing evidence shows that young people are not only more likely to get infected with the new strain – dubbed P. 1 – but also to die from it.

The Brazilian Association of Intensive Care Medicine said that the number of 18 to 45-year-olds requiring intensive care for COVID-19 in February to March this year was three times greater than in September to November 2020, and coronavirus-related deaths in that age group have almost doubled.

The data showed a massive 193 per cent increase in coronavirus-related deaths for Brazilians aged 18 to 45, increasing from 13.1 per cent to 38.5 per cent, between the first and second waves.

Variant more infectious and spreading globally

The variant is widely agreed to be more infectious and transmissible generally – by as much as 2.2 times – and 25 to 61 per cent more capable of reinfecting people who had been infected with an earlier strain of the virus, according to recent studies conducted by researchers at the University of Sao Paulo in collaboration with Oxford University and Imperial College London.

It is now spreading in many nations around the world, and a high-profile series of infections in Canada is adding to significant concerns about how it affects young and healthy people.

Surge in Americas could be ‘even larger’ than in 2020

As nations across Latin America close borders and impose lockdowns to control the spread of the virus – it is being warned that this latest surge in cases and deaths could be the region’s worst yet.

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