Socioeconomic Factors Point to COVID-19 Infections

Local incidence of SARS- CoV-2 infections in the United States is associated with variations in health, income, and education. However, their impact in Australia has been less explored.

A new study at Barwon Health and the Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation (IMPACT) at Deakin University, published in the Medical Journal of Australia states that the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections was higher in Victorian postcodes with larger proportions of unemployed people, those without paid leave benefits, or those experiencing mortgage or rent stress.

‘SARS-CoV-2 infections and their local incidence in Victoria are found to be influenced by the postcode-level socio-economic differences during 2020.’

The team analyzed data about the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 in Victoria by postcode, between 1 March and 13 August 2020.

“During the study period, 15 482 SARS-CoV-2 infections with associated postcodes were recorded in Victoria. Incidence was higher for metropolitan than regional postcodes (418.3 v 62 infections per 100 000 population). In regional postcodes, incidence rose with mean household size, unemployment proportion, and proportions for whom rent or mortgage repayments exceeded 30% of household income. In metropolitan areas, incidence increased with unemployment proportion and proportion without paid leave. Incidence also increased with proportion speaking languages other than English at home and with Indigenous Australian proportion,” reported Dr. Christine Roder, an infectious disease researcher, and his colleagues.

It is thereby considered to take social and economic inequalities into account for policies and health care reform against mitigation of future waves of COVID-19.

Source: Medindia

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