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Debora Diniz | Diane Grosklaus Whitty



Winner of the 2017 Jabuti Book Prize
The Zika virus is devastating lives and communities. Children across the Americas are being born with severe disabilities because of it. Yet during the desolating outbreak, Brazil played host to both the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup, leading many to suspect that the true impact of the virus has been subject to a cover-up of international proportions.

Beginning in the northeast, where the devastation has been most felt, professor of bioethics and award-winning documentary filmmaker Debora Diniz travels across Brazil tracing the virus’s origin and spread. Along the journey she meets a host of fearless families, doctors and scientists uncovering the virus’s impact on local communities. In doing so Diniz paints a vivid picture of the Zika epidemic, exposing the Brazilian government’s complicity in allowing the virus to spread while championing the efforts of local doctors and mothers who, working together, are raising awareness of the virus and fighting for the rights of children affected by Zika.

‘A compassionate and inclusive look at the impact of the Zika epidemic: from the mothers of affected babies to the race for an effective treatment.’
Laura Rodrigues, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

‘Ingeniously crafted and affectingly narrated, Zika is a momentous contribution to the critical study of science and global health.’
João Biehl, Princeton University

‘Diniz illustrates the devastating effects that Zika’s spread has had on impoverished women, and how government scientists and policy makers failed to live up to their responsibilities toward those affected. A brilliant read, highly recommended!’
Udo Schuklenk, Queen’s University, Canada

‘A masterfully researched and wide-ranging narrative of Zika in Brazil. Unforgettable.’
Kearsley Stewart, Duke University

'Captivating … the reader is moved through the interviews on a page-turning, well written, and carefully constructed narrative arch. Nevertheless, the book’s greatest strength is that it is based on scientifically sound and well conducted ethnographic research.'
The Lancet

Debora Diniz is professor of bioethics at the University of Brasilia and an award-winning documentary filmmaker. She is vice-chair of the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) board of directors and a member of the Brazilian Ministry of Health’s National Network of Specialists on Zika and Related Diseases.

Diane Grosklaus Whitty is a translator specialising in the fields of history, health, and the social sciences

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Cover Cover
Praise for this book i
Title page iii
Copyright iv
Contents v
Acknowledgments vii
Translator's Note viii
Principal Characters xi
The Mothers xi
The Doctors xii
The Scientists xiii
Timeline xiv
April 29, 2015 xiv
May 14, 2015 xiv
September 23, 2015 xiv
Map xx
Telling the Story 1
Positive for Zika 14
Where It All Began 14
Deciphering an Allergy Epidemic 20
A Mysterious Illness Strikes Bahia 33
The First Generation of Women 46
The Foreigner 46
The Northeasterners 48
Footprints of the Virus 57
The Paralyzing Syndrome 57
The Neuropediatricians from Recife 61
The Doctor from Rural Paraíba 72
Patient Zero 93
The Aftermath 99
Implications for Women Worldwide 109
Notes 116
Telling the Story 116
Positive for Zika 119
The First Generation of Women 122
Footprints of the Virus 122
The Aftermath 127
Implications for Women Worldwide 129
Bibliography 132
Books 132
Films 132
Science Journal Articles 133
Newspaper and Magazine Articles, Blog Posts 142
Government 149
About the Author and Translator 156