Spatiotemporal pattern of COVID-19 spread in Brazil

Science. 2021 May 21;372(6544):821-826. doi: 10.1126/science.abh1558. Epub 2021 Apr 14.


Brazil has been severely hit by COVID-19, with rapid spatial spread of both cases and deaths. We used daily data on reported cases and deaths to understand, measure, and compare the spatiotemporal pattern of the spread across municipalities. Indicators of clustering, trajectories, speed, and intensity of the movement of COVID-19 to interior areas, combined with indices of policy measures, show that although no single narrative explains the diversity in the spread, an overall failure of implementing prompt, coordinated, and equitable responses in a context of stark local inequalities fueled disease spread. This resulted in high and unequal infection and mortality burdens. With a current surge in cases and deaths and several variants of concern in circulation, failure to mitigate the spread could further aggravate the burden.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / mortality
  • Epidemics*
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Spatio-Temporal Analysis