This was likely the result of releasing a genetically modified mosquito into the wild in 2012 to try and control the spread of dengue fever. No testing was done to see if the GM mosquito was capable of carrying more diseases than the non-GM mosquitoes. An unintended consequence from government intervention in nature.
The WHO has already warned that the Zika virus is likely to “spread explosively” across nearly all of the Americas. More than 20 countries, including Brazil, are reporting cases.
From US News:
The UN health body said that a surge in cases of microcephaly — a devastating condition in which a baby is born with an abnormally small head and brain — was likely caused by the mosquito-borne Zika virus and declared the situation a “public health emergency of international concern.”
The WHO is under pressure to move swiftly to tackle Zika, after admitting it was slow to respond to the recent Ebola outbreak that ravaged parts of west Africa.
WHO chief Margaret Chan said a meeting of health experts who make up the agency’s emergency committee had agreed “a causal relationship between the Zika infection during pregnancy and microcephaly is strongly suspected, though not scientifically proven.”
“The clusters of microcephaly and other neurological complications constitute an extraordinary event and a public health threat to other parts of the world,” she said.
WHO warned last week that the mosquito-borne virus was “spreading explosively” in the Americas, and said the region could see up to four million Zika cases this year alone.
Currently, there is no vaccine or medication to stop Zika. The only way to avoid catching it is to avoid getting bitten by the Aedes mosquitoes that transmit the infection.
There are some interesting facts surrounding this outbreak. First, the virus has been around for a long time without any association with birth defects. That implies that either a new strain has popped up, or that there is something inherently different about the immune response of the affected population.
Or that the virus is not actually responsible, merely correlating a rise in defects whose cause could be something else. All the articles hint that there hasn’t been a definite confirmation. It is interesting that the virus itself is being pointed to, amid widespread vaccination trials on pregnant women.
We should be skeptical, without jumping to conclusions. Corporate and government cover-ups do happen… A lot.
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