The Epidemiology of COVID 19 in the Amazon and the Guianas: Similarities, Differences, and International Comparisons

Front Public Health. 2021 Mar 11;9:586299. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.586299. eCollection 2021.


Background: The COVID 19 epidemic submerged many health systems in the Amazon. The objective of the present study was to focus on the epidemic curves of the COVID 19 epidemic in different centers, and to look at testing and mortality data. Methods: Publicly available datasets were used. The log10 of the daily cumulated number of cases starting from the day the territory reached 100 cumulated cases was plotted to compare the magnitude, shape and slope of the different curves. The maximum daily testing efforts were plotted for each territory in relation to the maximum daily number of diagnoses. The case fatality rate was computed by dividing the number of COVID 19 deaths by the number of confirmed cases. Results: In the Amazonian regions in general the speed of growth was generally lower than in Europe or the USA, or Southern Brazil. Whereas, countries like South Korea or New Zealand "broke" the curve relatively rapidly the log linear trajectory seemed much longer with signs of a decline in growth rate as of early July 2020. After a very slow start, French Guiana had the lowest slope when compared to other Amazonian territories with significant epidemics. The Amazonian states of Roraima, Amazonas, Parà, and Amapà had among the highest number of cases and deaths per million inhabitants in the world. French Guiana had significantly fewer deaths relative to its number of confirmed cases than other Amazonian territories. French Guiana had a late epidemic surge with intense testing scale-up often exceeding 4,000 persons tested daily per million inhabitants. Brazil was an outlier with low daily testing levels in relation to the number of daily diagnoses. Conclusions: There were marked heterogeneities mortality rates suggesting that socioeconomic, political factors, and perhaps ethnic vulnerability led to striking outcome differences in this Amazonian context.

Keywords: Amazon; COVID 19; Guiana shield; epidemiology; mortality; testing; vulnerable populations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / mortality*
  • Cause of Death*
  • Disease Outbreaks / statistics & numerical data*
  • Epidemics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • French Guiana / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Internationality*
  • North America / epidemiology
  • SARS-CoV-2