Zika Virus Outbreak
Recent media reports have been all about Zika, Zika, Zika – a pretty name for an ugly “mosquito-transmitted virus” that is “spreading explosively” throughout North and South America. But what do we really know about Zika besides the fact that mainstream media and health organizations are spreading big time fear and hysteria?
They state that Zika is especially dangerous to pregnant women, since the infection reportedly causes babies to be born with brain damage and unusually small heads, a condition known as microcephaly, typically caused by any attack on the fetal brain, such as alcohol abuse, a heavy blow to the body, or toxic exposure be it a vaccine or pesticide.
Health officials in Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica have actually asked women in countries hard hit to avoid getting pregnant altogether until more is known – not an easy thing to do in areas with high rates of sexual violence. El Salvador actually asked women to hold off getting preggers till 2018!
The government dictating when people should get pregnant? Well isn’t that a a convenient way to control over population. Procreate at your own risk!
Meanwhile, US health officials have warned pregnant women to avoid traveling to high-risk countries.
Reports now claim that Zika is present in more than 30 countries, and WHO estimates that as many as four million people may be infected by the end of 2016. As of last week, there was a total of 19 cases reported in the U.S. the latest in Arkansas. Go here for a list of countries affected by the “Zika outbreak.”
But something is very off here.
“[Zika] has long been considered a mild pest, rarely fatal, and certainly not associated with catastrophic birth defects,” writes The Wall Street Journal. Four out of five people with Zika virus have no symptoms, according to the WHO. Those who do become ill, typically have mild symptoms, such as a low fever, rash, joint pain, pink eye and headaches.
The link between Zika and microcephaly, and the conclusion that the virus can indeed disrupt the development of human embryos is widely suspected by the medical community and the US Center for Disease Control, which has rapidly changed the risk profile of Zika from a mild threat to one of “alarming proportions.”
However, critics and scrutinizing minds claim there is a lot of fear mongering and “no significant connection” between the two. Read Jon Rappaport’s blog titled, Is the dreaded Zika virus another giant scam?
And according to a Brazilian publication:
- Of those, 3,670 suspected cases of microcephaly are being investigated.
- Of those 3,670, 404 cases have been confirmed as microcephaly or “other alterations in the central nervous system” of babies.
- Of those 404 cases, 17 “had a relationship with zika virus.”
So is this really an epidemic? Or a great opportunity?
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GMO Mosquitoes And Zika
The strange thing is that Zika has been around for more than half a century, as a minor player compared to other viruses. According to a New York Times article, the virus was first discovered in 1947 – in a Rhesus monkey in the Zika Forest of Uganda.
And if you dig a little deeper beyond the mainstream fray, there are reports that the virus was patented the year it was discovered.
Why the sudden outbreak and high incidence of microcephaly, particularly in the Northeast Region of Brazil?
Is it just a coincidence that the recent outbreak of whatever we are dealing with is concentrated in the same region where a genetically modified mosquito farm was first introduced in 2011 and 2012? ( You may rethink that trip to attend the summer Olympics in Brazil.)
In July 2015, following the release of OX513A strain of male mosquitoes into the wild in Juazeiro, Bahia, Northeast Brazil, biotech company Oxitec proudly announced they had “successfully controlled the Aedes Aegypti mosquito – that spreads dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika virus – by reducing the target population by more than 90 percent.”
Map One: Juazeiro, Brazil — the location where genetically-modified mosquitoes were first released into the wild.
Map Two: Map showing the concentration of suspected Zika-related cases of microcephaly in Brazil.
These maps appeared in The AntiMedia
Interestingly, the first cases of microcephaly were reported in Brazil in May 2015 when doctors in the northeastern state of Pernambuco reported a surge in babies born with it.
Why didn’t Zika spur an epidemic of birth defects in any other countries?” poses one Redditer. She goes on to say:
“How exactly would you miss a tenfold increase in children born with most of their brain missing? Zika in Brazil does not seem to behave like the Zika we were familiar with before.”
The GMO strain of male mosquitoes produce non-viable offspring, which all die. They are supposed to be “self-extinguishing.” However if tetracycline is present in the environment, during the larval stage, the mutant mosquito can survive. Survival rates can reach 15 percent even with low levels of tetracycline, states an internal Oxitec document.
Yes for some reason this antibiotic increases their survival rates, and unfortunately this antibiotic is common in Brazil because of its prevalence in food production. Read: Chances are high that genetically mutated mosquitoes are in fact breeding and not dying off.
According to an article by Claire Bernish published on The AntiMedia:
“An unclassified document from the Trade and Agriculture Directorate Committee for Agriculture dated February 2015, [lists] Brazil as the third largest in ‘global antimicrobial consumption in food animal production’ — meaning, Brazil is third in the world for its use of tetracycline in its food animals. As a study by the American Society of Agronomy, et. al., explained, “It is estimated that approximately 75 percent of antibiotics are not absorbed by animals and are excreted in waste.”
Antibiotics in our environment is a very real global epidemic that has caused resistance and superbugs. In the case of gmo mosquitoes, the antibiotic can repress the engineered lethality. And then what kind of mutilated bug do we have on our hands?
As the same Redditer states:
Has adequate research ever been done on how a genetically mutilated mosquito copes with viral infections? Could the mosquito be more susceptible to certain pathogens that it then passes on to humans? If a pathogen like the Zika virus can thrive in the mosquito without restraint, it could evolve into something far more dangerous than its original incarnation, pulling the lever on the slot machine with every replication until it hits the genetic jackpot.
GMO, Pesticides, More Vaccinations, Oh My
The irony is that this outbreak will likely justify the need for more GMO mosquitoes. That suspicion was quickly concluded.
According to Alex Perkins, a biological science professor at Notre Dame, “It could very well be the case that genetically modified mosquitoes could end up being one of the most important tools that we have to combat Zika. If anything, we should potentially be looking into using these more.”
Meanwhile Amesh A. Adalja MD, FACP, FACEP whose expertise lies in infectious diseases, critical care (ICU), and emergency medicine says that the outbreak of Zika virus has zero relationship with GMO mosquitoes.
“Sterile male GMO mosquitoes have a tremendous potential to diminish populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, a mosquito type that has plagued humans for far too long. GMO mosquitoes are an elegant and innovative solution that should be embraced.”
Unfortunately, officials and biotech supports embracing this experiment. States like Florida have already issued a Zika state of emergency and isn’t it a coincidence that discussions were already in full swing to release these gmo bugs there
This manufactured hysteria is leading to increased fumigations in the streets and surely on commercial flights too. (Update: indeed a few days after publishing this story, Bloomberg announced that attendants will start spraying the inside of flight cabins. Enjoy your peanuts).
The WHO, meanwhile, affirms the need to spray insecticides and reduce standing water where mosquitoes breed.
Pesticides are already a big problem in Brazil with several being used that have been banned in other countries. Toxins can certainly cause birth defects? Is this being concerned in the cases of microcephaly? Unfortunately not.
Has a once mild virus gone suddenly rogue on a grande scale? Or do we have another Thalidomide-like incident on our hands with a mosquito as a scapegoat?