Zika virus (ZIKV) infections during pregnancy can lead to adverse neurodevelopmental and clinical outcomes in congenitally infected offspring. As the city of Recife in Pernambuco State, Brazil-the epicentre of the Brazilian microcephaly epidemic-has considerable disparities in living conditions, this study used an ecological approach to investigate the association between income at the neighbourhood level and the risk of ZIKV infections in pregnant individuals between December 2015 and April 2017. The spatial distribution of pregnant individuals with ZIKV infection was plotted on a map of Recife stratified into four categories based on mean monthly income of household heads. Additionally, a Poisson regression model with robust variance was fitted to compare proportions of ZIKV infections among pregnant individuals in relation to the mean monthly income of household heads, based on the 2010 census data, across 94 neighbourhoods in Recife. The results provide evidence that the risk of ZIKV infection to pregnant individuals was higher among those residing in lower-income neighbourhoods: relative to neighbourhoods that had a mean monthly income of ≥5 times minimum wage, neighbourhoods with <1 and 1 to <2 times minimum wage had more than four times the risk (incidence rate ratio, 95% CI 4.08, 1.88 to 8.85 and 4.30, 2.00 to 9.20, respectively). This study provides evidence of a strong association between neighbourhood-level income and ZIKV infection risks in the pregnant population of Recife. In settings prone to arboviral outbreaks, locally targeted interventions to improve living conditions, sanitation, and mosquito control should be a key focus of governmental interventions to reduce risks associated with ZIKV infections during pregnancy.
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