Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the COVID-19 epidemic in Brazil

William Marciel de Souza, Lewis Fletcher Buss, Darlan da Silva Candido, Jean Paul Carrera, Sabrina Li, Alexander E. Zarebski, Rafael Henrique Moraes Pereira, Carlos A. Prete, Andreza Aruska de Souza-Santos, Kris V. Parag, Maria Carolina T.D. Belotti, Maria F. Vincenti-Gonzalez, Janey Messina, Flavia Cristina da Silva Sales, Pamela dos Santos Andrade, Vítor Heloiz Nascimento, Fabio Ghilardi, Leandro Abade, Bernardo Gutierrez, Moritz U.G. KraemerCarlos K.V. Braga, Renato Santana Aguiar, Neal Alexander, Philippe Mayaud, Oliver J. Brady, Izabel Marcilio, Nelson Gouveia, Guangdi Li, Adriana Tami, Silvano Barbosa de Oliveira, Victor Bertollo Gomes Porto, Fabiana Ganem, Walquiria Aparecida Ferreira de Almeida, Francieli Fontana Sutile Tardetti Fantinato, Eduardo Marques Macário, Wanderson Kleber de Oliveira, Mauricio L. Nogueira, Oliver G. Pybus, Chieh Hsi Wu, Julio Croda, Ester C. Sabino, Nuno Rodrigues Faria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The first case of COVID-19 was detected in Brazil on 25 February 2020. We report and contextualize epidemiological, demographic and clinical findings for COVID-19 cases during the first 3 months of the epidemic. By 31 May 2020, 514,200 COVID-19 cases, including 29,314 deaths, had been reported in 75.3% (4,196 of 5,570) of municipalities across all five administrative regions of Brazil. The R0 value for Brazil was estimated at 3.1 (95% Bayesian credible interval = 2.4–5.5), with a higher median but overlapping credible intervals compared with some other seriously affected countries. A positive association between higher per-capita income and COVID-19 diagnosis was identified. Furthermore, the severe acute respiratory infection cases with unknown aetiology were associated with lower per-capita income. Co-circulation of six respiratory viruses was detected but at very low levels. These findings provide a comprehensive description of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic in Brazil and may help to guide subsequent measures to control virus transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)856-865
Number of pages10
JournalNature Human Behaviour
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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