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High infant mortality in Sergipe

Despite having enough beds available in intensive care units (ICU) for adults, Sergipe has a 41% shortfall in pediatric beds. As a result, the COVID-19 mortality rate among children and adolescents—4.9 cases in every 100,000 people aged 18 or younger—was higher in this state than the rest of Brazil and the international average, according to a study by researchers from universities and health agencies in Sergipe and Alagoas (Tropical Medicine and International Health, January). There were 6,038 cases of COVID-19 among children and adolescents aged 18 or younger prior to September 30, 2020. Of this total, 37 died, the majority (35) in public hospitals and 18 without having been admitted to ICU. The highest fatality rate (15.3%) was among children aged less than one year old.