Dengue fever kills 18 people in Rio epidemic

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The Independent US

Rio de Janeiro is in the grip of a mosquito epidemic. The stripy-legged Aedes aegypti bites during daylight hours, and local beachgoers provide acres of exposed human flesh.

Rio de Janeiro is in the grip of a mosquito epidemic. The stripy-legged Aedes aegypti bites during daylight hours, and local beachgoers provide acres of exposed human flesh.

Tens of thousands of victims are battling the fevers, headaches, rash and itching bone marrow of haemorhagic dengue, and at least 18 people have bled to death from complications of the disease.

One Brazilian soap opera is broadcasting repeats, because many of the regular cast have beenstruck down by dengue. Scientists estimate that half a million people in Rio state have been infected so far.

There is little medical relief possible, so doctors are advising people to cover up, an unlikely fashion trend in Rio, the home of the dental-floss thong.

The mosquitoes lay their eggs in clean water, which mean they are not confined to the city's slums, and upmarket areas have been hit hard.

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