Brazil sends in 200,000 soldiers to stop the spread of the Zika virus outbreak which has seen huge numbers of babies born with small heads
- More than 200,000 soldiers are being sent ‘house to house’ in Brazil in the battle against Zika-carrying mosquitoes
- They are to distribute leaflets and dispense advice, signalling a major ramping up of efforts against the Zika virus
- Although not deadly, the virus has been linked to cases of severe brain damage and birth defects in newborn babies
- Pregnant women are being told to avoid travelling to the affected 22 countries, including in Latin America and Africa
- Cases have also been reported in Europe, with four in Italy, three in Britain and two in region of Catalonia in Spain
Brazil has sent more than 200,000 troops to go ‘house to house’ in the battle against Zika-carrying mosquitoes, blamed for causing a birth defect epidemic that is spreading rapidly across the world.
Soldiers will visit homes across Brazil, distributing leaflets and dispensing advice, according to Health Minister Marcelo Castro, signalling a major ramping up of efforts against the Zika virus.
The government, under growing pressure to deal with the crisis, will also hand out repellent to at least 400,000 pregnant women on social welfare.
The virus has been linked to serious birth defects, including microcephaly, in which babies born to women infected during pregnancy have abnormally small heads.
Heartbreaking: The Zika virus has been blamed for causing severe brain damage to newborn babies. Pictured, Estafany Perreira holds her five-month-old nephew David Henrique Ferreira, who has microcephaly, in Recife, Brazil
Ready for battle: Brazil has sent in 200,000 soldiers to distribute leaflets and dispense advice in the fight against the growing epidemic
It comes as the World Health Organization said that the virus, which is suspected causing horrific brain damage to babies, will spread throughout all countries in America except Chile and Canada.
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