Carnival in Rio reaching climax with parade of samba dancers

The famed Carnival in Rio de Janeiro kicked into high gear on Sunday with the start of a parade of top samba dancers.

A contest featuring 12 selected teams began on Sunday night.

Each group is made up of about 3,000 members. Dancers in colorful costumes are parading down a 700-meter street, accompanied by huge floats.

Themes of the performances include Black culture and the history of indigenous people in Brazil.

The parade will continue through Tuesday morning.

The carnival is being held amid an outbreak of Dengue fever. More than 400,000 people are believed to have been infected with the mosquito-borne disease this year, and at least 62 deaths have been confirmed.

Authorities are urging participants and spectators to take measures to prevent infection.