RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazil's president has signed a measure allowing health officials access to any building to eradicate breeding grounds for a mosquito spreading the Zika virus.

The measure signed by President Dilma Rousseff was published Monday. It allows health officials access to all homes, public and private buildings-- even if the property's owner cannot be located.

Officials can also request backup from police to raid any building suspected of being a mosquito breeding ground.

Brazil has sent about 220,000 troops to battle the Aedes aegypti mosquito that transmits Zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.

The Zika virus has been linked with a sharp increase in reported cases of microcephaly. The birth defect causes babies to be born with unusually small heads and can lead to lasting developmental problems.