Brazil is currently suffering a deadly surge of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections MESHD
, which has been attributed to the spread of a new strain known as P.1 HGNC
(B.18.104.22.168). In this investigation, we analyzed coronavirus disease 2019 MESHD
( COVID-19 MESHD
) public health data from Parana, the largest state in southern half of Brazil, between September 1, 2020 and March 17, 2021, to evaluate recent trends in case fatality rates in different age groups. A total of 553,518 cases of SARS-CoV-2, 8,853 currently registered as fatal, were finally included in our analysis. All age groups showed either decline or stabilization of the case fatality rates (CFRs) between September 2020 and January 2021. In February 2021, an increase in CFR for almost all age groups could be instead observed. All groups above 20 years of age showed statistically significant increases in CFR when diagnosed in February 2021 as opposed to January 2021. Patients aged 20-29 years experienced a tripling of their CFR, from 0.04% to 0.13%, while those aged 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 experienced approximate CFR doubling. Individuals between 20 and 29 years of age whose diagnosis was made in February 2021 had an over 3-fold higher risk of death MESHD
compared to those diagnosed in January 2021 (Risk Ratio (RR): 3.15 [95%CI: 1.52-6.53], p<0.01), while those aged 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 years experienced 93% (1.93 [95%CI:1.31-2.85], p<0.01), 110% (RR: 2.10 [95%CI:1.62-2.72], p<0.01), and 80% (RR: 1.80 [95%CI:1.50-2.16], p<0.01) increases in risk of death MESHD
, respectively. Notably, the observed CFR increase coincided with the second consecutive month of declining number of diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 cases. Taken together, these preliminary findings suggest significant increases in CFR in young and middle-aged adults after identification of a novel SARS-CoV-2 strain circulating in Brazil, and this should raise public health alarms, including the need for more aggressive local and regional public health interventions and faster vaccination.