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Photos: Brazil’s Carnival in full swing despite widespread Zika threat

Even as widespread fears of the Zika virus hang heavy over Brazil–the world’s worst affected country–the annual Carnival festival was in full swing over the weekend as revelers kept the spirited tradition alive. 

The festival, which began on Friday and lasts through Wednesday, involves five days of parades and street parties, bringing together millions of partygoers.

“What’s interesting about Carnival is that at the very core the philosophy is, forget your troubles and party like there is no tomorrow,” NewsHour Science Correspondent Miles O’Brien said from Recife, Brazil on Friday. “That’s how the Brazilians view it and that’s why in most cases the party has gone on.”

Officials say as many as 100,000 people may have been exposed to the virus in the city of Recife, which has become known as the epicenter of the Zika outbreak, although symptoms are often mild or undetectable.

“I talked to a lot of public health officials and doctors and scientists who have been involved in this hunt for some action and some way to control the Zika outbreak, and many of them express misgivings about it, frankly, but the show is going on,” O’Brien said.

OLINDA, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 06: Dancers are blurred in a long exposure during Carnival celebrations on February 6, 2016 in Olinda, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Revellers in Olinda and sister city Recife are gathering for various concerts and street parades during Carnival in spite of fears over the Zika virus. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Dancers are blurred in a long exposure during Carnival celebrations on February 6, 2016 in Olinda, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

RECIFE, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 06:  Revellers gather during the Galinho da Madrugada 'bloco', or street parade, during Carnival celebrations on February 6, 2016 in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Officials say as many as 100,000 people may have already been exposed to the Zika virus in Recife, which is being called the epicenter of the Zika outbreak, although most people never develop symptoms.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Revellers gather during the Galinho da Madrugada ‘bloco’, or street parade, during Carnival celebrations on February 6, 2016 in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Revellers parade for Vila Maria samba school during carnival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker - RTX25OV6

Revellers parade for Vila Maria samba school during Carnival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 6, 2016. Photo by Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

OLINDA, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 06: A reveller stands beneath a mosquito net, as a satirical costume, during Carnival celebrations on February 6, 2016 in Olinda, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Revellers in Olinda and sister city Recife are gathering for various concerts and street parades during Carnival in spite of fears over the Zika virus. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A reveller stands beneath a mosquito net, as a satirical costume, during Carnival celebrations on February 6, 2016 in Olinda, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Henrique kisses his wife Paula, who is seven months pregnant, during an annual block party known as "Eu Acho e pouco" (I think it is little) one of the many carnival parties to take place in the neighbourhoods of Olinda, Brazil February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino - RTX25SOG

Henrique kisses his wife Paula, who is seven months pregnant, during an annual block party known as “Eu Acho e pouco” (I think it is little) one of the many carnival parties to take place in the neighbourhoods of Olinda, Brazil February 6, 2016. Photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

A reveller from the Rocinha samba school dances as she takes part in the Group A category of the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, Brazil, February 5, 2016.  REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes - RTX25OGS

A reveller from the Rocinha samba school dances as she takes part in the Group A category of the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro’s Sambadrome, Brazil, February 5, 2016. Photo by Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

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