Brazilian authorities have started a crisis center to deal with a dengue fever outbreak in the state of Rio de Janeiro that has so far this year claimed 47 lives.
Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao said Thursday the army was being mobilized to cope with the problem, with 51 more people becoming infected every day.
Advertisement"The dengue mosquito infection in Rio shows an alarming situation and more concrete action has to be taken," he said.
Most of the deaths have occurred in the city of Rio, and children account for 25 of the fatalities.
Dengue fever is a tropical virus transmitted by mosquitos. In extreme cases it can cause hemorrhage and death. No vaccine is yet commercially available.
Federal and Rio state officials are to meet in Brasilia on Monday to draft a strategy aimed at decimating the Aedes aegypti mosquitos responsible and providing better care for infected patients seeking treatment in overcrowded and understaffed hospitals.
The head of the Rio Doctors Association, Jorge Darze, on Wednesday said his organization was going to sue city, state and federal authorities for "negligence" and "putting the population in danger."