RIO DE JANEIRO, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Some 36,000 citizens in this second largest city of Brazil have acquired dengue fever so far this year, causing an emergency situation in hospitals, local health officials said on Friday.
On Thursday alone, 2,053 new dengue cases were registered in the city. At least 47 people have died from the disease so far this year and the number could double as 49 other fatal victims are being tested to see if they died from the disease.
According to the Brazilian government, half of the dengue patients are children under 14, 24 of whom have died.
Health officials in Rio de Janeiro have recommended that children wear long pants, socks and shoes, not sandals, to prevent mosquito bites, a major cause of dengue fever.
Brazil's Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao announced this week the creation of a "crisis cabinet" to tackle the rapid spread of the disease.