Rio de Janeiro has declared a public health emergency due to a dengue virus outbreak, just days before Brazil's Carnival celebrations begin.
The city's mayor, Eduardo Paes, announced the action on Monday in an effort to stem the spread of the mosquito-borne disease, which causes flu-like symptoms and can be fatal in severe cases.
The increase in dengue infections has heightened the urgency of a planned statewide vaccine effort, coinciding with Rio's world-famous Carnival, which begins on Friday.
The pre-Lent festivities take place all throughout Brazil, with Rio's colourful parades and block parties being known as among the world's largest events, with millions of revellers filling the streets.
According to the city council's epidemiological observatory group, Rio has already documented over 11,200 dengue cases this year, compared to roughly 23,000 total for 2023.
To prevent the sickness from spreading further, the city announced the opening of ten treatment centres throughout Rio, while the Health Ministry established an emergency centre to coordinate efforts.
Rio is one of three states that have declared public health emergencies in response to the spike in dengue illnesses, along with the second most populous state, Minas Gerais, and the Federal District, which includes the capital, Brasilia.
According to the Health Ministry, approximately 365,000 dengue infections were reported across the country in the first five weeks of the year, which is four times higher than the same period last year. The ministry reported that forty deaths had confirmed.
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Brazil: Rio declares a dengue emergency as the country prepares for Carnival