Zika exposes class differences in Brazil, where most victims are poor

Alex Cuadros – The Washington Post, 02/24/2016

Watching kids skate around an ice rink inside the 1-million-square-foot Ribeirao Shopping center, you would hardly guess that this city is one of the hardest hit by the Zika epidemic.

Young women in dresses buy lattes at a Starbucks by the rink. Men in shorts and T-shirts take selfies with their cellphones next to a stand selling exercise machines. If they look unconcerned, it’s because, in this air-conditioned space, the mosquito that carries Zika can’t survive.

Although 230 miles from the southeastern coast, Ribeirao Preto is sometimes called the California of Brazil. The nickname traces back to the 1980s, when a boom in sugar and ethanol production raised living standards for many residents. But the boom left many others behind.

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