Rio fights dengue fever explosion ahead of Olympics

December 30, 2015

Rio de Janeiro launched an operation to wipe out dengue fever-carrying mosquitoes Wednesday, after an explosion of cases of the potentially deadly tropical disease hit the 2016 Olympics host city.

Municipal workers deployed across the city to clean up mosquito breeding grounds and encourage residents to do the same.

In the northern neighborhood of Tijuca, they broke through the gates of abandoned houses to clean up the standing where mosquitoes lay their eggs.

"There are who come around here and leave their litter behind. When it rains, that fills up with water and that's how an area gets infested," said sanitation worker Luciano Lobo.

Rio de Janeiro state has registered more than 67,000 cases of dengue this year, an increase of 550 percent from last year.

Authorities say the surge may be due to a record drought earlier in the year, which led residents to store water in whatever way they could—and inadvertently gave the mosquitoes ample new breeding grounds.

Dengue, which causes flu-like symptoms, can be deadly if it develops into a .

It has killed 23 people this year in Rio state, up from 11 in 2014.

As part of the campaign, health officials are spreading the word to leave empty bottles and jars upside-down and clean up standing water in gutters, flower pots, old tires and the like.

Brazil on Monday joined Mexico and the Philippines in authorizing a new dengue vaccine, the world's first.

Across Brazil, has infected more than 1.5 million people this year and killed 839.

Explore further: Rio declares dengue epidemic

Related Stories

Rio declares dengue epidemic

April 25, 2012

Rio de Janeiro has declared a dengue epidemic after diagnosing more than 50,000 cases of the tropical mosquito-borne infection this year and over 500 in the last week alone.

Nearly 700 killed by dengue in Brazil: health officials

October 7, 2015

Health officials in Brazil said Tuesday a record 693 people have died so far this year after contracting dengue fever, the deadly mosquito-borne disease running rampant across Central and South America.

Brazil authorizes dengue vaccine

December 28, 2015

Brazil became the first South American country Monday to authorize the world's first-ever dengue fever vaccine, which its French manufacturer says has the potential to save hundreds of lives here.

Recommended for you

Yeast infection linked to mental illness

May 4, 2016

In a study prompted in part by suggestions from people with mental illness, Johns Hopkins researchers found that a history of Candida yeast infections was more common in a group of men with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.