Brazil city Campo Grande fights dengue fever outbreak

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Health authorities in the Brazilian city of Campo Grande, in the southern state of Mato Grosso do Sul, are fighting a dengue fever epidemic.

About 600 residents a day have reported suffering from the symptoms of the fever since the beginning of the year.

Heavy rains have increased the risk of reproduction of the mosquito which transmits the disease.

Hundreds of workers have been hired to clear the streets of standing water, where the mosquitoes breed.

Dengue: mosquito-born viral infection

GM male mosquitoes
  • Causes a flu-like illness, occasionally lethal
  • Leading cause of serious illness and death among children in some Asian and Latin American countries
  • No specific treatment, but early detection, medical care reduce fatality rates to below 1%
  • Found in tropical and sub-tropical climates, mostly urban and semi-urban areas
  • Global incidence has grown dramatically
  • About half of the world's population is now at risk

A state of emergency is coming into effect in Campo Grande on Monday, which will allow city authorities to hire extra workers and purchase medicine without putting contracts out to tender.

The federal authorities said that nationwide two people had died from dengue fever.

Apart from Campo Grande, the city of Vitoria in Espiritu Santo state has also seen a steep rise in the incidence of dengue cases with more than 1,500 cases reported this month.

Brazil's health minister has warned local authorities to reinforce their dengue prevention programmes and to urge residents to cover any standing water, such as tanks.

In Paraguay, across the border from Mato Grosso do Sul, eight people have died from the fever and more than 8,500 suspected cases have been reported.

There, the army and the police have been deployed to help clear potential mosquito breeding grounds.

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