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The incidence of COVID-19 in a Brazilian regional soccer league is without doubt one of the highest

Publicado em 09 julho 2021

A examine carried out on the College of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil reveals that the incidence of infections by the novel coronavirus amongst skilled soccer gamers in São Paulo state in the course of the 2020 season was 11.7%, the identical as amongst well being employees within the entrance line of the response to the pandemic.

To reach at this quantity, the researchers retrospectively analyzed virtually 30,000 RT-PCR checks carried out on swabs from 4,269 athletes throughout eight tournaments of the São Paulo State Soccer Federation (FPF), the league chargeable for organizing official championships within the state—six for males (the São Paulo Cup, Below-23s, U-20s, and the three divisions of the São Paulo Championship) and two for ladies (the São Paulo Championship and U-17s). A complete of 501 checks confirmed the presence of SARS-CoV-2. In addition they analyzed 2,231 checks on swabs from assist workers (health workers, technical committees, administrators, kitmen, and so on.), and 161 (7%) have been optimistic.

“It is a a lot increased assault fee than has been seen in different international locations. In Denmark, for instance, solely 4 out of 748 gamers examined optimistic [0.5%]. The Bundesliga [in Germany] discovered eight circumstances out of 1,702 gamers [0.6%]. Even in Qatar, the place there is a reasonable danger of neighborhood transmission, the speed was far decrease than ours: 24 out of 549 examined optimistic [4%]. In contrast with the opposite reported charges, our gamers have been contaminated between three and 24 occasions extra,” Bruno Gualano, a professor on the College of São Paulo’s Medical Faculty (FM-USP) and principal investigator for the examine, advised Agência FAPESP.

In an article revealed within the British Journal of Sports activities Medication, the authors say the numbers are most likely underestimated. The group had entry to the database of the laboratory commissioned by FPF to check the athletes. Nonetheless, gamers belonging to golf equipment that competed in nationwide tournaments might select to be examined by laboratories commissioned by the Brazilian Soccer Confederation (CBF), and these outcomes weren’t included within the evaluation.

In any occasion, the São Paulo knowledge reveals that the virus affected women and men equally amongst these examined. A comparability of the outcomes for gamers and workers reveals a excessive assault fee amongst gamers, however extreme circumstances of COVID-19 have been extra frequent amongst workers, who’re older on common and are usually not all in excellent well being.

“This is a cause of concern,” Gualano stated. “The few severe cases, one of which ended in death, were reported among members of staff. Although our data suggest players tend to manifest only mild symptoms or none at all, they can of course transmit the virus to others in the community. Most have a very active social life.”

Danger components

Owing to the social distancing measures applied within the state of São Paulo in March 2020, soccer matches have been briefly suspended and resumed solely on June 14. To attenuate the danger of viral transmission, FPF’s Medical Committee created a protocol that requires frequent testing of gamers and assist workers, isolation of all contaminated people, contact tracing (inside the sports activities neighborhood), and routine hygiene practices.

“Cases appeared whenever the protocol wasn’t followed,” stated Moisés Cohen, who chairs the Medical Committee. “It is a managed surroundings the place dangers are monitored and minimized, together with testing each two to 3 days. Gamers who go away [the isolation bubble] and return are examined daily. We additionally hint the contacts of people with optimistic take a look at outcomes and comply with greatest practices when it comes to safety, reminiscent of utilizing PPE and hand hygiene,” he stated.

In keeping with Gualano, the danger of viral transmission throughout matches has proved low, however different components impair the efficacy of the protocol, which he considers technically satisfactory. “It would work well if applied in Denmark or Germany,” he stated. “It depends significantly on the common sense of the players, who are required to go straight home from the training center and maintain social distancing and non-pharmacological measures when resting. Here in Brazil, however, a sizable proportion don’t follow the rules and aren’t penalized at all. In addition, players and staff travel to and from fixtures a good deal. The smaller clubs travel by bus, eat at restaurants, and are probably more exposed than elite players. Our social inequality is also true of soccer.”

The examine reveals that some golf equipment have been way more affected than others. One membership reported 36 positives, with 31 occurring in a single month. Seven golf equipment had greater than 20 confirmed circumstances and 19 had ten or extra. For Cohen, all outbreaks are attributable to non-compliance with the protocol.

Gualano expressed sturdy concern over the resume of São Paulo Championship fixtures after suspension of all matches in São Paulo state on March 11, in response to the sharp rise in hospitalizations and deaths and the emergence of extra aggressive viral variants. The suspension was lifted on April 10; nonetheless, matches throughout this era have been going down at Volta Redonda, a close-by metropolis in Rio de Janeiro state.

“Until the transmission of COVID-19 is mitigated, any sector that reopens represents a high risk of contagion,” Gualano stated. “The only safe option would be to isolate the entire soccer sector inside a bubble, which is what the NBA did at a cost of USD 170 million. Either shut down or isolate.”


Delta variant circulating in Sao Paulo: health official


Extra data:
Bruno Gualano et al, Excessive SARS-CoV-2 an infection fee after resuming skilled soccer in São Paulo, Brazil, British Journal of Sports activities Medication (2021). DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2021-104431

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The incidence of COVID-19 in a Brazilian regional soccer league is without doubt one of the highest (2021, July 9)
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