Birth rate in Brazil falls to 26-year low

Cape Breton Post - - WORLD -

SAO PAULO — The birth rate in Brazil has fallen by its fastest rate in nearly three decades af­ter the Zika and mi­cro­cephaly cri­sis of 2016. Brazil’s statis­tics agency says on Tues­day there were 2.79 mil­lion births in 2016, a five per cent de­crease from the year prior.

The birth rate fell by 10 per cent in the north­east­ern state of Per­nam­buco, where the Zika cri­sis hit par­tic­u­larly hard.

The Zika virus is spread pri­mar­ily through mos­quito bites and causes ba­bies to be born with ab­nor­mally small heads and other se­vere brain de­fects.

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