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Brazil: Dengue Situation Critical in Rio. Three Have Died.

During the first two months of 2005 there were over 33,000 cases of dengue in Brazil. This year the total for January and February was 25,000. That is an improvement, but the number remains large enough to cause concern.

The Brazilian Ministry of Health says the situation is critical only in the metropolitan regions of the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Goiânia.

Rio leads the dengue statistics with 2,377 cases reported, and three deaths. There is concern at the Ministry of Health because of the large number of locations where mosquitoes have been found in Rio de Janeiro recently.

In Goiânia there have been 1,438 cases, plus another 1,108 cases in a nearby municipality.

The head of the secretariat of Health Vigilance, Jarbas Barbosa, says that the dengue problem is a matter of effective prevention.

"Where adequate prevention measures were implemented there are no problems. The Ministry provides technical assistance, but local authorities have to stay on top of this every day of the year," he declared.

According to Barbosa, the period of greatest dengue risk runs from January to May, but prevention must take place all year long.



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