At least 13,000 cases of dengue fever, including two fatal hemorrhagic dengue, have been reported in the southern Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul in January, official news agency "Brasil" said on Wednesday.
Health Minister Agenor Alvares described this figure as very high, nearly matching the 15,000 cases seen in the first 11 months of last year.
Alvares said health authorities were adopting all possible measures to fight the disease, noting that "as soon as we knew about the situation in the state, we sent vehicles and trained staff to help fight the mosquito which spreads Dengue fever."
He added that "the number of cases has increased 300 percent, and at least 36 municipalities are affected."
"State courts have ruled to open sealed buildings so that health officers can overhaul the disease outbreaks. Most cases broke out because people failed to take proper care at home," the minister said.
Dengue is an acute, infectious tropical disease caused by an arbovirus transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. Dengue types of one, two and three are found in Brazil while type three, the severest, arrived in the nation in 2000 and spread rapidly through Mato Grosso do Sul.
A person who survives one type of dengue is not immune to the other two strains, and a second infection with dengue is usually much worse and can lead to hemorrhage and death.
(Xinhua News Agency February 2, 2007)