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Story Publication logo January 27, 2021

In Acre, It Wasn't Just Fires Causing the Coughing: It Was COVID-19 (Portuguese)


Forest fire in the Amazon. Image by Shutterstock.

Our reporting project aims to monitor respiratory disease data during Amazon fires and compare it to...

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Illustration by Bruno Fonseca and Larissa Fernandes/Agência Pública.
Illustration by Bruno Fonseca and Larissa Fernandes/Agência Pública.

Raimundo Lopes, a resident of Catuaba rubber plantation, in the rural area of Rio Branco, refused to take a Covid-19 test when he began to feel the first symptoms of the disease, which resembled those of a cold. When a dry cough afflicted him, he kept on his usual routine, arguing that it was just a reaction to the smoke that flooded the entire municipality of the capital of Acre between July and September of last year.

A motorist from Rio Branco City Hall, aged 77, Lopes kept working and breathing in smoke until his wife, Francisca Holanda, 76, insisted he go to the hospital. He was admitted on September 18th at the Rio Branco Emergency Hospital (Huerb), where he stayed for a week. "He already has several health problems and doesn't take care of himself, so the whole family was very worried," Raimundo's granddaughter, Isabele Cristina Bezerra dos Santos, told Agênica Pública.

To continue to read the story in Portuguese, visit the Agência Pública website.