2017 Photo Contest, Contemporary Issues, 2nd prize

Victims of the Zika virus


Lalo de Almeida

Folha de São Paulo

19 October, 2016

Raquel de Araújo holds her daughter Heloisa while her mother Maria José dresses Araújo Heloísa's twin sister Helóa after bathing the girls in their home in Areia, Paraíba, northeastern Brazil. The twins were born with microcephaly and Raquel cannot take care of them alone.

Brazil saw a dramatic increase in numbers of babies born with microcephaly, a condition linked to the Zika virus. Babies with the condition are born with an abnormally small head, or the head stops growing at birth. The Zika virus, transmitted by mosquitoes, generally causes mild, flu-like symptoms, and the exact causal link to microcephaly—an otherwise rare condition—is not fully understood. The World Health Organization recorded 2,289 Zika-linked microcephaly cases in Brazil from the beginning of the outbreak in 2015 to the end of 2016, and declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency. A large number of the Brazilian cases occurred in the northeastern interior, one of the poorest regions of the country, where many people had to travel long distances to reach a hospital for treatment.

About the photographer

Lalo de Almeida

Lalo de Almeida (1970) is a photographer based in São Paulo, Brazil. Having studied photography at the Instituto Europeo di Design in Milan, Italy, he began working as a pho...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
35.0 mm

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