Brazil battles Zika virus mosquitoes

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Sao Paulo: More than 200,000 army, navy and air force troops are fanning out across Brazil to show people how to eliminate the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads the Zika virus, which many health officials believe is linked to severe birth defects.

An army soldier interacts with a civilian in Rio de Janeiro. Pic/AFP
An army soldier interacts with a civilian in Rio de Janeiro. Pic/AFP

The nationwide offensive is part of President Dilma Rousseff's declared war on the virus that has quickly spread across the Americas.

The government says 220,000 members of the armed forces accompanied by community health agents and mosquito control teams are taking part in Saturday's effort to educate the population on how to eliminate mosquito breeding areas in and around their homes. The government says troops will visit 3 million homes to hand out explanatory pamphlets.

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