Thursday, 20 October 2016

Zika Virus: Does the drive for profits make us miss the mark?

Zika Virus: Does the drive for profits make us miss the mark?

While researching natural plant oils related to improving my range of natural products, I came across a site dedicated to information sharing among scientists, One of the communications caught my eye relating to Zika and microcephaly. This information never reached mainstream news¹. 

This post refers to a four year survey done by paediatric cardiologist Dr Sandra Mattos on the incidence of microcephaly in Brazil, and specifically in Paraiba, where incidentally the highest number of Zika infections and microcephaly was recorded during 2015-16. The results showed that microcephaly had escalated from an expected 3-4 cases per year to between 2000-4000, a thousand fold escalation.

These numbers started rising in 2012, before Zika became a problem, and also correlates with the increased use of spraying with insecticides (Pyriproxyfen). In fact the highest numbers of microcephaly occurred in 2014, which also did not make the news. What changed was that from the middle of 2015 to 2016 the severity of the malformations drastically increased, although the total incidence declined. The timeline would match well with the Pyriproxifen being added to the water in 2014 when you add 3-9 months². This chemical was deemed safe enough for the WHO to release advisories on its use in drinking water, despite previous links to causing microcephaly³ʾ⁴ʾ⁵.

The survey calls into question whether these microcephaly cases are caused by Zika virus or something else. If it is Zika virus, it has been in Brazil for a lot longer than people have thought, but that does not explain why after 50 years Zika has only now been linked to microcephaly.
Why did this survey not make the mainstream news? This also begs the question of how does the Zika virus enter the placenta and cross the blood-brain barrier? At present there are no clear answers.

My personal opinion is that the Pyriproxifen provides the tick marks for all the questions asked, but the $1,1 Billion and any subsequent funding related to Zika is driving the search for answers and vaccines that fit the object of providing easier access to benefitting from that funding.


Personal Opinion Piece: Ronald Gibson

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