RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Yellow fever cases are on rise in Brazil with 253 confirmed cases, the country's Health Ministry said on Thursday.
According to the ministry, authorities have received reports of 1,246 suspected cases so far. Out of those, in addition to the 253 confirmed cases, 108 have been discarded and the rest are pending confirmation. The confirmed deaths due to yellow fever have reached 88.
The number of confirmed cases of the disease has increased significantly in recent weeks. The southeastern state of Minas Gerais has been the most severely hit, with 216 confirmed cases and 76 deaths.
Suspected cases have also been registered in other places such as Espirito Santo, Sao Paulo, Tocantins, Bahia and Rio Grande do Norte.
The outbreak is particularly worrying because of the upcoming Carnival holiday, as many Brazilians will travel around the country, either heading to major Carnival locations or to rural areas to escape the party atmosphere.
Earlier in February, the Health Ministry launched a vaccination campaign, urging citizens who planned to travel to affected areas to get vaccinated as soon as possible, since the yellow fever vaccine needs 10 days to take effect.