Brazil’s Health Ministry says at least 744 people have been infected with measles in a growing outbreak linked to cases imported from neighboring Venezuela.
The total includes 67 indigenous Venezuelans and Brazilians. The indigenous rights group Survival international has warned that the outbreak could devastate isolated tribal groups that have little resistance to such diseases and live on both sides of the Brazil-Venezuela border.
Four people have died, including one indigenous child.
The Health Ministry said Wednesday the majority of cases are in two Brazilian border states. All are linked to an outbreak in Venezuela, where health services have collapsed amid political turmoil.
Measles spreads through the air and is highly contagious. While there is no specific treatment, the vaccine is very effective. Brazil is ramping up vaccination efforts.