Around 81,000 indigenous people living in remote zones around Brazil could be “critically vulnerable” to Covid-19, according to a study by the University of Campinas (Unicamp). Researchers say these communities are particularly susceptible to present-day diseases, as they have not developed sufficient antibodies over time. The mortality rate from influenza is especially high among indigenous Brazilians — when it comes to stronger respiratory viruses, such as Covid-19, entire communities could be ravaged.
Some groups are more at risk than others. While the Guarani people, for example, have their own word for “epidemic,” other communities have hardly had any contact with foreign diseases. Of the 36 indigenous regions defined by the Brazilian government, the population of six areas are at a particularly heightened risk, according to the study. All six are located in the Amazon Basin.
Last month, The Brazilian Report editor Euan Marshall showed that some indigenous communities could be at risk of extinction due to the Covid-19 outbreak.