Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Brazil to deploy army in fight against Zika virus

Brazil will deploy 220,000 soldiers in its fight against mosquitoes spreading the Zika virus, the government announced on Tuesday.

Health Minister Marcelo Castro said Brazil was "losing badly" in its fight against the virus which has no vaccine or treatment.

The soldiers, who will be sent out on February 13, will hand out leaflets on how to avoid the spread of Zika and how to eradicate the mosquito breeding grounds.

Since Zika, a mosquito-borne, flu-like disease that originated in Africa, arrived in Latin America last year, there has been a rampant increase in babies born with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads, a birth defect that can cause brain damage and death.

Castro told O Globo newspaper that the Zika virus is the greatest public health crises in Brazilian history and the fight against it would only be won if people did their part eradicate the Aedes Aegypti mosquito which is responsible for spreading it.

"Last year we had the highest number of dengue cases in the history of Brazil," he said.

"We're losing badly in the battle against the mosquito."

Brazil has been hit hardest: microcephaly cases in the country surged from 163 per year on average to 3,893 after the Zika outbreak began.

Forty-nine of those babies have died.

Fearing a generation marred by high rates of severe disability, several health ministries in the region have called on women to postpone pregnancy.......http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/americas/100600-160126-brazil-to-deploy-army-in-fight-against-zika-virus



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