The Brazilian government said that it will send 1.2 million reais ($509,121) to the southeastern state of Espirito Santo to carry out preventive action against disease in the wake of flooding that took scores of lives.
Health officials in the area are investigating the first death from leptospirosis, a disease transmitted in the urine of animals, especially mice, when deposited in stagnant waters, the official Agencia Brasil news service said.
Though the rains let up last weekend, many cities and neighborhoods remain flooded, the reason why authorities advise citizens to keep protective covering on their hands and feet in order to avoid contact with contaminated water.
The downpours over the past few weeks have caused widespread damage and Espirito Santo Gov. Renato Casagrande estimates that reconstruction of infrastructures in the state after nine days of torrential rains will take at least a year.
Up to now, more than 20 people have died due to the rains and some 500 were injured, while more than 48,000 people had to evacuate their homes and find shelter with family members or friends.
In Minas Gerais, the other state badly affected by the rains, the death toll rose to 22 after the lifeless body was found Monday of a 31-year-old man missing since last week.