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Brazil has worked hard to fight the disease within its own borders and help neighboring countries, said Dan Epstein, a spokesman with the World Health Organization in Washington, D.C.
The government is campaigning to educate the public to prevent water from pooling, but getting word to the sprawling country's remote areas is tough, Epstein said.
"The weather and circumstances make for perfect breeding ground for Aedes aegypti mosquitoes," he said.
The WHO estimates that more than 2.5 billion people worldwide are at risk for dengue, and at least 50 million are sickened each year.
"It's a serious problem in the Americas and globally, particularly in Southeast Asia," Epstein said. "It's one of the serious neglected diseases affecting tropical countries, and one of the things we have make a priority."
To Brazil's north, neighboring Venezuela has also been confronting a dengue epidemic with about 100,000 diagnosed cases so far this year compared with 40,000 during the same period last year, according to recent Health Ministry figures.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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