Brazil is closing down dozens of schools after a measles outbreak

BRASILIA — Brazil’s Health Ministry says it has shut down dozens and has closed more than 300 schools after the country’s largest outbreak of the virus, which has sickened more than 4,000 people.

The ministry said Monday that it had closed more then 100 schools, mostly in the northeast of the country, because of the outbreak.

“We are closing schools and imposing mandatory quarantine in order to contain the spread of the disease,” Health Minister Rodrigo Teixeira said.

Teixeiro said the closure is necessary to prevent people from infecting other children and adults.

In the southeastern state of Rio Grande do Sul, a total of 647 schools have been closed and 619 schools are under quarantine, the health ministry said.

It said the majority of schools in the area have been reopened.

At least one school was evacuated due to the spread, the ministry said in a statement.

The other 14 schools in Rio Grande did Sul, the state where the outbreak began, were reopened on Tuesday.

The health ministry also said it is considering a proposal to open more schools to those who cannot leave because of quarantine rules.

More than 1,400 people have been infected in Brazil with the virus and more than 500 have died.

It is not clear if the outbreak is linked to the coronavirus that is circulating in the United States and Europe.