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. A surge in incidents across Latin America, notably in Brazil, has prompted the United States and other governments to warn pregnant women against traveling to the region.  CONTINUE