South American dengue alert6th February 2007
Authorities in Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia have warned of an outbreak of mosquito-borne dengue fever, blaming higher rainfall and unusually high temperatures for boosting the population of mosquitoes.
Brazil has seen more than 15,000 cases this year, more than the total for 2006 already, while around 3,000 have been infected in Paraguay. Five deaths have been reported in the region so far.
South America sees thousands of cases of dengue a year, with around 50 million people infected globally. A flu-like illness at first, dengue can turn into a deadly fever without proper medical attention.
The authorities have called on the population to take more steps to avoid infection.
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