220,000 troops are helping to combat the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that transmit the Zika virus. Brazil's health minister Marcelo Castro says the war is already being lost. The virus endangers all countries in the Western hemisphere except Canada and Chile, where these mosquitoes do not habitate. The Zika virus is not fatal, but can cause microcephaly in newborns, if a pregnant woman contracts the virus — during the past four months there have been 30 times more microcephaly cases in Brazil than in 2014. Zika virus has been discovered in Brazil in May 2015 and by now has turned into an epidemic. Last week the epidemic became international, spreading to other countries of North and South America.
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