Municipal authorities in Campo Grande, the capital of the southwestern Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, on Monday declared a health emergency due to a serious outbreak of dengue fever.

The decree, signed by Mayor Alcides Bernal, says that the city needs to take "urgent" measures to control the epidemic.

Of the 9,320 cases verified during the first weeks of January, 600 have come in the last three days, according to figures compiled by the municipal health department

In the state of Parana, which borders on Mato Grosso do Sul, five municipalities have declared an emergency with 1,269 confirmed dengue cases.

Bernal, in remarks to the state-run Agencia Brasil news service, said that "the numbers show that this epidemic is the largest" ever experienced in Campo Grande, a city of about 786,000 people.

The emergency decree allows the hiring of doctors without the need for bidding and it also facilitates the procedures for buying medical equipment, among other things.

Simultaneously, authorities have increased the hours of operation for mobile clinics.

The mayor added that city hall intends to increase the number of vehicles used to fumigate for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the disease. 

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