Photos of the Desperate Effort to Control Zika Virus

The city of Recife in northeastern Brazil is particularly hard hit by the emerging disease.

As Zika virus spreads rapidly through the Americas, a growing number of people must learn to contend with the disease. Particularly hard hit has been northeastern Brazil, in and around the city of Recife. 

It's summer in Recife now, and hot weather has driven people outdoors, where they come into contact with the mosquitoes that carry the disease. Health officials are fighting back with pesticides and warnings for people to remove standing water and to cover up.

But it's hard for many locals who can't afford air conditioning or insect repellent and who don't want to wear long clothes in the steamy weather, says Mario Tama, an American photographer based in Rio de Janeiro who has been in Recife documenting the Zika crisis.

As people go about their daily lives, many "are concerned over the uncertainty of Zika," says Tama. "People are worried about the newness and the lack of information."

Brazil's health minister recently suggested that women delay getting pregnant until more is known about the disease, since early evidence suggests it might cause severe birth defects. 

"Women who are pregnant and their families are very concerned," says Tama.