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Disease fears in Brazil

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Disease fears in Brazil

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Fears of an outbreak of disease are growing in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro five days after rains triggered calamitous mudslides.
Rain continues to hamper rescuers, and there are complaints that authorities have been slow to bring supplies of fresh water, food and medicines.
In some areas of the afflicted Serrana region a drive is beginning to vaccinate residents and volunteers.
At least 640 people are now known to have died after Wednesday’s mudslides.
It is feared scores more bodies remain under rivers of mud, cut off from the reach of rescuers.
In Teresopolis, the city council has decided to bury recovered bodies without waiting for them to be identified, reported the Jornal do Brasil newspaper.
They would collect genetic material to allow bodies to be identified later.
News agencies reported that refrigerated lorries were parked outside the town’s makeshift mortuary in order to accommodate some of the overspill of bodies.
Most of the mudslide victims in the alpine district came from the three formerly picturesque towns of Nova Friburgo, Teresopolis and Petropolis, with an additional 19 deaths now reported in Sumidouro and four in Sao Jose do Vale do Rio Preto.
Rio de Janeiro state began seven days of mourning for the victims on Monday, adding to a three-day national mourning period announced by President Dilma Rousseff. (BBC)

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