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Brazil Reports Fatal Strain of Dengue Fever

Health officials in Brazil have confirmed at least two people have died of dengue fever in recent weeks.

Authorities in Rio de Janeiro said Thursday a 45-year-old patient died from a deadly form of the disease this month. A 52-year-old man died of the fever late last month.

Officials say more than 200 people in Rio have contracted dengue fever this month, many more than during January of last year.

The normal form of the mosquito-borne illness causes a high fever and joint pain. But the rarer hemorrhagic strain can be lethal.

At least 500 firefighters have joined health workers in a campaign to disinfect stagnant water and other places where mosquito larvae breed.

The outbreak comes ahead of next month's Carnival festival, which normally draws hundreds of thousands of tourists.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.