Dengue Fever Epidemic in Brazil

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The Brazilian city of Campo Grande, in Mato Grosso do Sul state, is going through one of the worst dengue epidemics in its history.

As of Saturday (January 19), the number of people reporting to hospital with dengue-like symptoms was at 600 a day.

Lucia de Fátima Leite is one of those people. On Saturday (January 19) she seemed in good spirits, but doctors were still keeping her in hospital.

"My immune system is down, so until it goes up I need to stay here (in hospital)," she said.

Campo Grande city officials have already declared a state of emergency to allow for the hire of extra hospital staff and the purchase of new medicine.

Campo Grande mayor, Aucides Bernal, paid a visit to the city's main hospital and admitted that the situation is dire.

"In the beginning of the year we registered 300 cases, it then went up to 500, and today we have more than 700 cases per day. We have registered more than 7,000 cases in these last 16 days, and the situation is expected to get worst," he added.

Health officials were also candid about the seriousness of this new dengue epidemic.

"In comparison to the previous epidemics from 2007 and 2010 there's a much greater number of cases, so in comparison to those years this is becoming the greatest (dengue) epidemic of all time, that's because there's are different types of viruses circulating around, today we have type 1, type 2 and type 4 viruses going around," said Victor de Oliveira, Coordinator of the Health in Action program.

As a precautionary measure, Campo Grande officials are fining people who neglect their backyards, especially the ones with swimming pools, and don't take proper care of their land, as these are breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that carry the dengue virus.

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