Rio de Janeiro state has registered more than 67,000 cases of dengue in 2015, an increase of 550% from 2014. Dengue, which causes flu-like symptoms, can be deadly if it develops into a hemorrhagic fever. Rio de Janeiro launched an operation to wipe out dengue fever-carrying mosquitoes, 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.
‘Municipal workers have been deployed across Rio De Janeiro to clean up mosquito breeding grounds and encourage residents to do the same.’
AdvertisementIn the northern neighborhood of Tijuca, they broke through the gates of abandoned houses to clean up the standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs.
Sanitation worker Luciano Lobo said, "There are homeless people 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."
Authorities said that the surge may be due to a record drought earlier in 2015, which led residents to store water in whatever way they could - and inadvertently gave the mosquitoes ample new breeding grounds.
Dengue 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 has now joined Mexico and the Philippines in authorizing a new dengue vaccine, the world's first.
Across Brazil, dengue has infected more than 1.5 million people in 2015 and killed 839.