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The mosquito-borne disease dengue, transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, is spreading in Brazil, with 512,353 probable cases reported as of Feb. 12, according to Brazil’s Health Ministry. The New York Times reported today that the Brazilian government is anticipating 4.2 million cases this year, above the 4.1 million that the Pan American Health Organization recorded for all 42 countries of the Americas last year! Sixty percent of the Brazilian cases have occurred in the country’s southeastern region. So far, 75 deaths due to dengue have been confirmed and 340 are under investigation.

In a nationwide television address Feb. 6, Brazilan Health Minister Nisia Trindade called on the population to mobilize and be prepared to cooperate with federal authorities in combating the epidemic. Precautions are required on a daily basis, she warned, reassuring citizens that they can count on the “fundamental work of agents who combat epidemics. Meet with them, help them in locating and eradicating possible foci of mosquitos in your house and in your neighborhood.” She outlined several other specific measures and reported that an emergency operations center has been set up, allowing for a daily analysis of the evolution of cases and mobilization of all the agencies involved in combating dengue as necessary.

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