A study conducted by the Federal Universities of Juiz de Fora (UFJF) and Pernambuco (UFPE) revealed that the number of children dying from respiratory diseases in the state of Minas Gerais has decreased in the past two decades. According to the survey, the highest number of deaths was recorded in 2000, while the lowest was in 2020.
The study analyzed data on deaths of children under the age of 12 due to infectious respiratory diseases in the state of Minas Gerais, from January 2000 to December 2020. The researchers identified 4,688 death records, with an annual average of 223 deaths.
Experts indicate that the decrease in the number of deaths may be related to the public health policies implemented in the country, especially during the peak of the Corona virus pandemic in Brazilian territory. Another point mentioned in the research is the universalization of childhood immunizations, which helped increase vaccination coverage and reduce deaths from infectious diseases.
According to Waneska Alexandra Alves, a researcher at UFJF, the proportion of deaths caused by viral agents jumped from 5.1% in 2019 to 29.5%. A possible reason for this could be that cases “not identified” were updated as being due to coronavirus infection or systemic infection.
“In 2020, systemic manifestations of respiratory infections have gained importance, which, in addition to affecting the respiratory system, also affects other organs. Covid-19 is systemic,” he explains.
Of the nearly 4,700 deaths recorded from 2000 to 2019, 85% did not determine whether the respiratory illness was caused by a virus, bacteria or fungus. Even with the fall, the expert warns that this is not the time to “relax.”
He added: “The time trend analysis indicates a decrease in the number of deaths resulting from respiratory infections, but this is not a reason to relax regarding the epidemiological scenario, as we are talking about a very important fatal event that can be avoided in most cases.” He adds. .
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