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Brazilian troops join battle against Zika mosquitoes

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

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

The government said 220,000 members of the armed forces accompanied by community health agents and mosquito control teams are taking part in the effort to educate the population on how to eliminate Aedes aegypti mosquito breeding areas in and around their homes.

The government said troops will visit three million homes to hand out explanatory pamphlets.

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