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RIO revellers pay tribute to Michael Jackson in street carnival band

Feb 11, 2016 Thousands of revelers in Rio de Janeiro recently paid tribute to the late Michael Jackson as they partied to Samba versions of his songs in one of the city’s street Carnival parades.

The third edition of the Michael Jackson-themed street party, dubbed “Thriller Eletrico”, drew a large crowd to a park in Rio’s Vila Isabel neighborhood.

Speaking about the party, Gabriele Rocha, said:

“I’m a fan (of Michael Jackson) since 2005. So as soon as this Carnival band came up, I decided I had to come here. It’s wonderful because I love the Samba rhythms and I love Michael, so putting those two together is perfect. I love this,”

This year’s carnival is held amidst fears of the mosquito-carried Zika virus which was recently identified in urine and saliva.

The warnings notwithstanding, Juliana Arauj, said she doubted that Brazilians would hold back on kissing because of the Zika virus:

“We already have problems with sexually transmitted diseases and people continue to practice unprotected sex and kissing everyone. This (Zika virus) is another problem we have to deal with, but I don’t think people will give up kissing and loving each other because of that. They will just carry on,”

British tourist, Matthew Stancliffe, who travelled to Rio to enjoy the Carnival, played down concerns over the illness.

“When we found out more about the illness I’m now not so worried, because it stays in your system for one week and afterwards if you go home it clears and there’s no lasting impact. So I think that if I were pregnant or had a girlfriend that was pregnant, and for many people in the country it is very worrying, but for me I’m not too worried,”

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