Covid-19 em contexto: comparação com a mortalidade mensal por causas respiratórias nos estados brasileiros
Critical decisions in the fight against the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic have been often made based on data that are still incomplete. While the relevant agencies do not solve the bottlenecks in the flow of essential health-related information, epidemiologists and other researchers must produce technical subsidies for decision-making that bypass these limitations. In the present study, focused on Brazil, we compare data on SARS-CoV-2 associated deaths, made available on a daily basis, with time series of mortality from respiratory and other diseases from the years 2014 to 2018 (the last five complete years with available data). Additionally, we analysed the time series of deaths from respiratory diseases to describe the typical annual period of the peak of mortality due to these diseases in each Brazilian state. The reported mortality from SARS-CoV-2 until April 15 is equivalent to 24% of the expected mortality from respiratory causes in the same period in previous years, with wide variation between states (from 151% in Amazonas to 3% in Tocantins). We are currently in the typical peak season of mortality from respiratory diseases in much of the North and Northeast (with the exception of Roraima). In the Southeast and South regions, this peak is later (June – August). The evolution of the pandemic in each state will depend, however, on several other factors, such as the pathogen's behavior – not yet sufficiently known. We emphasize the need for actions to increase agility in making data on mortality and morbidity from different causes publicly available in near real time, so that research teams with different analytical approaches can join efforts in combating this global health challenge.