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Zika Virus: Brazil mosquito repellent sales surge

By AFP

Added 7th February 2016 06:17 PM

Zika is causing a bigger scare since scientists have linked it to cases of microcephaly, a condition which causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads

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A man fumigates against the Aedes Aegypti mosquitos as a vector of the dengue and Zika viruses in Jakarta after Indonesia officially confirmed a case of the Zika virus dating back to last year. AFP Photo

Mosquito-borne viruses including Zika, which is feared to cause brain damage in babies, have driven a surge in sales of insect repellent in Brazil, a report said Sunday.

The Brazilian insect repellent sector saw sales rise to a record $54 million in 2015 up from $36 million a year earlier, newspaper O Globo said, citing a study by the Nielsen consumer research firm.

Brazil is the country worst affected by the outbreak of Zika, with 1.5 million cases reported last year.

Zika is causing a bigger scare since scientists have linked it to cases of microcephaly, a condition which causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads.

It has also been linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurological disease that can cause paralysis in humans.

There is currently no cure or vaccine for Zika, which usually causes little more than a fever and rash in adults.

Brazil has also suffered from a rise in cases of dengue, another mosquito-borne disease.

Dengue killed 863 people in Brazil in 2015, a rise of more than 82 percent on the previous year, the government said.

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