The Brazilian Health Ministry has warned that the city of Rio de Janeiro may suffer one of the worst dengue epidemics in its history this year.
"I consider Rio do Janeiro runs the risk of one of the worst epidemics, in number of cases of dengue in its history", said Brazilian Health Minister Alexandre Padilha.
Officials say 3,499 dengue patients have been identified in Rio since the start of the year, which is 1177 cases more than last year.
There have been no fatalities due to the mosquito born disease, Padilha said adding that the type 4 dengue virus which has become prevalent in Rio is not the most dangerous form.
“This is not a more serious or the most serious case of dengue, it does not represent a higher death risk for people, but since very few persons have experienced it in Brazil, a far greater number are susceptible of catching it,” the minister said.
Despite the increasing number of infections in the capital, the overall cases across the country have dropped 62 percent this year, governmental reports say.
Dengue fever is a tropical disease transmitted by a mosquito bite. The deadly disease which has no vaccine infects 50 million to 100 million people globally and is becoming endemic in more than 100 countries.