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Viruses, Always the Easy Scapegoat

One of the problems with the current and evolving discussion within within the global health community and the media about the Zika virus (… Have you seen all those cockeyed, sensationalistic headlines?) is the assumption that the virus is dangerous and we should all be worried about its spread. This is similar to what has occurred with the poliovirus. The fact is that the vast portion of the people who have either of these two viruses exhibit no symptoms or have very mild symptoms.

In the case of polio, 95% of the people who have the poliovirus show no symptoms at all.1 Less than 1% of those who have the poliovirus will develop any sort of paralysis, and of those small number of cases less than 10% result in death.2  The vast number of people who have the poliovirus just go about their daily lives as if nothing. Still, the poliovirus has been made out to be a monster which we must attack and destroy.

Is it possible that we may be doing the same thing now with Zika, and are unnecessarily overreacting out of a sense of fear of the unknown? Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has already publicly declared war on Zika and the mosquitoes that carry the virus.

We must wage war against the Aedes aegypti, the vector of dengue, of chikungunya and of Zika.

While we do not have a vaccine against the Zika virus, the war must be concentrated on the elimination of breeding grounds for the mosquito. Getting rid of Zika is the responsibility of all of us.3  

And yet, about 80% of people who have Zika will not develop symptoms. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about one out of every five people infected with the virus will become ill, and the illness is usually “mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.”4 The most common symptoms of the virus are “fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes).”4 Hardly something monstrous to fear—much less declare war on.

The media, along with many within the scientific, medical and public health communities, have irresponsibly pushed the idea that a virus is like a terrorist—something threatening that we must attack and destroy before it attacks and kills us. The same thoroughly unscientific mentality has been disseminated widely with regard to bacteria, disease, and fever.

The truth is that we carry lots of viruses within us all the time, and they don’t harm us in the least bit. And some of them actually do good things for us. “Viruses, like bacteria, can be important beneficial microbes in human health and in agriculture,”5 notes Marilyn Roossinck, PhD, who is a professor of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology and Biology at Pennsylvania State University at University Park.

Viruses are beyond a doubt the coolest things I have ever encountered. They do truly amazing things with very little genetic information. I was always a little disturbed at the bad rap they get, so it was very exciting for me to find good ones.5  

Take, for example, what chiropractor Ben Kim of Toronto, Canada says about the viruses that cause the common cold and the flu. According to Dr. Kim:

By and large, the viruses that cause the common cold and the flu infect mainly your weakest cells; cells that are already burdened with excessive waste products and toxins are most likely to allow viruses to infect them. These are cells that you want to get rid of anyway, to be replaced by new, healthy cells. So in the big scheme of things, a cold or flu is a natural event that can allow your body to purge itself of old and damaged cells that, in the absence of viral infection, would normally take much longer to identify, destroy, and eliminate.6  

While we don’t know nearly as much about viruses as we do bacteria, the assumption that having a virus is an inherently bad thing is a false one, and clearly not based on science.

So instead of almost exclusively posing questions to public health officials and medical researchers involved in the Zica-microcephaly global health emergency such as “Do we know what’s causing the spread of the Zika virus?” and “What can we do to combat it?” … questions that assume we have correctly identified the enemy and must now engage and defeat it by all means possible, perhaps the media might consider thinking out of the box a little.

Maybe mix it up a bit with questions like… “Why are we assuming that Zika is any threat to us at all?” and “What other things going on in Brazil could be causing the epidemic of microcephaly there?” Or even… “Have many of the microcephaly cases in Brazil been misdiagnosed, and thus is there an epidemic there at all?”

Not everything bad that happens in the world is due to a virus.


References:

1 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Public Health Image Library (PHIL). phil.CDC.gov.
2 Global Health. Global Health Topics: Polio. GlobalHealth.gov.
3 Eisenhammer S. Brazil’s Rousseff declares war on mosquito spreading Zika virus. Reuters Jan. 27, 2016.
4 CDC. Zika Virus: Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment. CDC.gov.
5 Stallard B. Viruses: They’re Not All Bad, Says Expert. Nature World News May 13, 2015.
6 Kim B. What Most Doctors Won’t Tell You About Colds and Flus. DrBenKim.com Mar. 5. 2014.

6 Responses to Viruses, Always the Easy Scapegoat

  1. Marie Reply

    February 16, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    It seems just common sense to me that the cases of microcephaly are being caused by either vaccination or pesticides. The zika virus (as the article’s title says) is being made the scapegoat.

  2. Frank de Greef Reply

    February 10, 2016 at 3:46 am

    Apparently, nobody wants the cases of microcephaly in Brazil being linked to the fact that the mothers were vaccinated against pertussis during pregnancy.

  3. chemfreemom Reply

    February 9, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Zika has actually been around almost 70 years, and has never been considered anything but benign.

    Outbreaks in Micronesia and French Polynesia caused no increase in Microcephaly.

    There 25,000 cases of Microcephaly in the US per year, and no Zika.

    Zika was not found in Brazil until July 2015, and Microcephaly went up in 2015, which initially caused suspicion that there was a link.

    However, a few days later, Brazil reported that there were only 270 confirmed cases of Microcephaly (out of the 4,180 suspected cases), and only SIX of those also had zika present.

    The next report had a little bit higher numbers, but they added to Microcephaly, unspecified CNS “ALTERATIONS.”. It said there 404 confirmed ” cases of Microcephaly OR OTHER ALTERATIONS OF THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM OF BABIES.”. It seems to me that if you’ve got a real correlation between Zika and Microcephaly, you’d be adding to the number of confirmed casecases of Microcephaly, and wouldn’t need to add into the count some other unspecified “ALTERATIONS,” whatever that means. They also changed the wording for the cases of Zika found in that 404. In the first report, they mentioned a subgroup of the Microcephaly cases who “also had the Zika virus prsent.”. But in the second report, they said 17 of the 404 people had ” a connection to Zika.”. What constitutes a connection? Do they have a neighbor who had zika and happened to be in the same room with the mother baby? Even if correlation equalled causation, which it doesn’t, this is a very weak correlation by anyone’s standards.

    Why are they trying so hard to blame Zika? Maybe because a week before this story started Brazil released a report stating that their pesticide use has gone up 162% due to GM plants, making them the number one consumer of pesticides worldwide.

    Also, Glyphosate and Atrazine are two widely used pesticides there, and Metolachlor is a widely used herbicide. They are all frequently found in soil and water supplies, and studies show that they all lead to restricted fetal growth, small head circumference, Microcephaly, and other deformities. Would they want it to be known that their decision to grow GM crops and use poisonous pesticides led to an increase in Microcephaly OR would they rather blame a virus?

    Also, in 2014 they made the DtaP vaccine mandatory for all pregnant women even though the vaccine insert clearly states that it’s never even been tested in pregnant women and should only be used if clearly needed. Would they want the increase associated with a vaccine, especially one they mandated?

    And, third, it’s not a stretch to say the genetically modified mosquitoes released by Oxitec, and paid for by Bill Gates, should at least be looked at.

    But, on top of all that, considering there are only 270 confirmed cases of Microcephaly so far, it’s not clear that there is a huge increase in cases from the 150 to 200 cases they have every year.

    • TelltheTruth Reply

      February 10, 2016 at 6:59 am

      Excellent post! Zika is one huge psyop. I’ve been following Jon Rappoport’s revelations about this totally fake epidemic…….how I hate being lied to.

  4. Thaddeus Buttmunch MD Reply

    February 9, 2016 at 11:19 am

    I’m an Allopathic trained physician, but the “Zika Microcephaly Epidemic” seems WEIRD to me.

    1. Zika has been around for at LEAST Forty years, without reports of Birth Defects-until NOW.
    2. There are reports of Zika Negative Brazilian women having Microcephalic babies in Greater than expected numbers.
    3. Neighboring Columbia has a LOT of Zika in Rainforest areas, and NO increase in Deformed Babies.

    It’s an “Alternative Medicine” theory but the introduction of a sterile mosquito strain is being blamed for the Epidemic

    • angelo and lena sturino Reply

      February 16, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      The CDC and the Who are reliable agencies, though at times not one hundred percent, but very close to the mark. The Zika M. Virus that is attacking the human productivity of the human species, is in my opinion is deadly, and all precautions should be made globally. Your analysis is very good indicator to be aware, not to overreact, and hope our scientists will work diligently hopefully through govt. funding too. thank you Angelo and Lena.

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