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America’s Own Overlooked Microcephaly Epidemic

image of a fetus

While the U.S. has 35% more people than Brazil, it may have more than 600% more microcephaly cases than that country.

Now that U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials have concluded that, without a doubt, the Zika virus is the cause of microcephaly,1 it appears they have created a permanent synonymous bond between the virus and the birth defect. When someone sees a baby with a smaller than normal head size, they will likely immediately think, “Oh, look at that poor child with Zika.”

By creating this bond, however, the CDC may have painted itself into an awkward corner. The agency will have to explain to the American public and the U.S. Congress why it has been asleep at the wheel while the Zika epidemic has been raging in the U.S. for many years. If the CDC insists on standing by its confirmation of a causal relationship between Zika and microcephaly, then it will have to explain why it has failed to respond, in any meaningful way, to the thousands of cases of microcephaly that have occurred in the U.S. each year.

According to a study titled “Practice Parameter: Evaluation of the child with microcephaly (an evidence-based review),” published in the journal Neurology in 2009:

Annually, approximately 25,000 infants in the United States will be diagnosed with microcephaly (head circumference <-2 SD).2

The figure 25,000 is provided also by the Foundation for Children with Microcephaly.3 If the number is remotely accurate, then the roughly 4,000 reported cases that account the “epidemic” of microcephaly in Brazil during the past year pales in comparison. This would be true even if you factor Brazil’s smaller population of 209 million versus just under 323 million for the U.S.4 5 

While the U.S. has 35% more people than Brazil, it may have more than 600% more microcephaly cases than that country. Yet, it’s a good bet that up until late last year, few people in the U.S. had ever heard of the word microcephaly, much less Zika. Why, though has the CDC not been talking about microcephaly—given the immensity of our own epidemic?

And why, suddenly, are all the alarms being sounded by the CDC and its director, Tom Frieden, MD that Americans are facing an impending epidemic of infant microcephaly caused by the Zika virus? The U.S. has apparently been in microcephaly crisis mode for many years and the CDC did not think to sound the alarm until after it became aware of the microcephaly epidemic in Brazil?

Note the rather sensationalistic title of Dr. Frieden’s recent article, “CDC Chief: Zika is coming. To fully protect Americans we must have the funds we need.”6 The CDC has set the tone for news reporting about Zika and fueled “the sky is falling” headlines in American newspapers and magazines—headlines like “U.S. Health Officials Warn of Widespread Zika Harm”7 and “Local Zika Outbreaks in United States ‘Likely’ According to Experts”8 and “Zika Virus US: Mosquito-Borne Infection Likely Coming North, Say Experts.”9 

But why has CDC chosen to do that now instead of years ago when they knew the U.S. had a microcephaly problem?

It would appear the CDC has some explaining to do, not only about its tardiness in alerting people in this country to our home-grown microcephaly epidemic, but also why the world’s premiere microbe hunting agency has been unable to detect all those Zika infections in U.S before now. After all, if Zika is the primary cause of microcephaly, as the CDC has assured us it most definitely is, without a doubt, and we’ve had tens of thousands of microcephaly cases for years in the U.S., then it stands to reason that tens of thousands of pregnant women in the U.S. have been contracting Zika virus for years as well.

The only way this logic falls flat on its face, of course, is if the CDC has got it wrong and Zika does not, in fact, cause microcephaly or Zika is not the only or primary cause of microcephaly. If Zika does not cause microcephaly, that would mean the CDC has made a big mistake. If Zika is not the only or primary cause of microcephaly, then the CDC is still making a mistake because it should not be focusing so exclusively on Zika—especially with its big funding request to Congress for research and development of a Zika vaccine.

Why is the CDC paying no noticeable attention to exploring potential other causes of infant microcephaly when it has been an epidemic in the U.S. for years? If there were  25,000 cases of polio paralysis in the U.S. every year, it certainly wouldn’t be swept under the carpet.

It is worthwhile to mention that the CDC estimates the number of microcephaly cases in the U.S. at “2 babies per 10,000 live births to about 12 babies per 10,000 live births.”10  Given the 3.98 million births in the U.S. in 2014, that would place the number of microcephaly cases at between 800 and 4,800 per year—substantially less than the 25,000 figure given in the study published in Neurology and by Foundation for Children with Microcephaly, but still significant.


References:

1 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Concludes Zika Causes Microcephaly and Other Birth Defects. CDC.gov Apr. 13, 2016.
2 Ashwal S, Michelson D, Plawner L, Dobyns WB. Practice Parameter: Evaluation of the child with microcephaly (an evidence-based review)Neurology 2009 Sep. 15; 73(11): 887–897.
3 Foundation for Children with Microcephaly / Foundation for Children with Microcephaly
4 Worldometers. Brazil Population. Worldometers.info.
5 U.S. Census Bureau. U.S. and World Population Clock. Census.gov.
6 Frieden T. CDC Chief: Zika is coming. To fully protect Americans we must have the funds we need. Fox News Apr. 1. 2016.
7 Sternberg S. U.S. Health Officials Warn of Widespread Zika Harm. U.S. News & World Report Mar. 10, 2016.
8 Local Zika Outbreaks in United States ‘Likely’ According to Experts. Fortune (Reuters release) Apr. 17, 2016.
9 Hughes C. Zika Virus US: Mosquito-Borne Infection Likely Coming North, Say Experts. Newsmax Apr. 18, 2016.
10 CDC. Birth Defects, Facts about Microcephaly. CDC.gov.
11 Births: Final Data for 2014. National Vital Statistics Reports Dec. 23, 2015: 64(12).

7 Responses to America’s Own Overlooked Microcephaly Epidemic

  1. Angela Coral Eisenhauer Reply

    September 13, 2016 at 12:02 am

    “”It is worthwhile to mention that the CDC estimates the number of microcephaly cases in the U.S. at “2 babies per 10,000 live births to about 12 babies per 10,000 live births.”10 Given the 3.98 million births in the U.S. in 2014, that would place the number of microcephaly cases at between 800 and 4,800 per year””” oh, THOSE STATS ARE QUITE CORRECT. 400 CASES IN 2004, AND FROM 2006-2010 THE RATE WAS 800-4,800 CASES A YEAR.

    Then it rose, horrifically fast, 2012 was 25,000 a year. Is it just a complete coincidence, that flu vaccines were pushed in pregnant women from 2010, and Tdap in pregnancy pushed from 2011. THE ONLY DIRECT CORRELATION, IS VACCINES IN PREGNANCY.

  2. angela coral eisenhauer Reply

    June 23, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Areas of Research and Preliminary Evidence on Microcephaly, Guillain-Barré Syndrome
    and Zika Virus Infection in the Western Hemisphere
    James Lyons-Weiler1
    Robert Ricketson1
    Edward Fogarty2
    Gavin Macgregor-Skinner3
    1Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge, Allison Park, PA 15101, U.S.A.
    2 University of North Dakota School of Medicine, SW Campus, Bismarck, ND 58501
    3 Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation, 1225 N. Eastman Rd., Kingsport, TN 37660, U.S.A.
    This is the report sent in for publication May 2016, April, 2016, WHO are suddenly saying all the things in this paper are “”gossip”””…………… that paper will never, ever get published, a real paper, by real scientists, proposing different things that should be studied……….. to really find out what is causing microcephaly in Brazil. The authors, had no idea that the rate of microcephaly in USA was 25,000 babies a year, when they submitted this. I can also add that the Tdap was used from May 2015, from 20 weeks gestation, and the babies were born from October. However, the report is above, please share it, if it has been removed from the net, and google search, just email for a copy.

  3. angela coral eisenhauer Reply

    June 22, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    “”””Annually, approximately 25,000 infants in the United States will be diagnosed with microcephaly (head circumference <-2 SD).2"""" my god the lying bastards, THAT happened in 2014…………… now, trying to blame the rise on zika? I can not believe how fraud, how ridiculous CDC look, to scientists, worldwide, the ones that are looking on in horror, at their bullshit. Microcephaly in 2006, USA 400. Microcephaly 2010, after flu jabs in preganancy? 4,800. Microcephaly 2014, after jabbing women with Tdap in pregnancy, 25,000 . And they say this is coming? It happened two damn years ago!

  4. angela coral eisenhauer Reply

    June 22, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    angelaoffer@hotmail.com for all the references. Zika does not cause microcephaly, never has, vaccines in pregnancy DO CAUSE MICROCEPHALY.

  5. angela coral eisenhauer Reply

    June 22, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    5,000 OF 5,000 microcephalic babies now, Brazil ALL had Tdap in utero beginning May 2015, from 20 weeks gestation, and the microcephaly began exactly 20 weeks later in October. 4 babies had zika. Now, not one CDC person is questioning the vaccine? Oh, 2 had syphilis, lets blame that, and ignore the fact 100% of them were part of the first scientific trial of Tdap in pregnancy? Oh USA been jabbing since 2013, rate of microcephaly now? higher than Brazil, USA now has 25,000 microcephalic babies, per year, since 2014. Are they gonna say zika mossies now time travel?

  6. faith stapleton Reply

    April 27, 2016 at 1:02 am

    This appears to be heartwrenchingly astonishing….but wait, it is only one of a host of such medical horrors. My daughter a beautiful perfect child 03/53, had a routine triple shot and a few hours later at 4 months experienced severe seizures which again occurred after the 2nd shot, seen by Dr. Wilbur Smith, neurologist in the ER, Rochester. Ultimately these repeated events caused brain damage rendering her a most beautiful non functional child and death at 6yo. She was not a lone case at Craig Colony nor in the USA.

    There have been periodic references to the triple shot and retardation but nothing exposing the continued practice of the triple shot in this country though I understand more notice has been taken in Europe. With every newborn receiving these triple shots it is a sure thing for drug companies so why interfere with the bottom line. During the 80’s there was a TV program which I hoped would cause some real interest…..under the carpet as usual.fbs

  7. MARY FISHER Reply

    April 26, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    ” The U.S. has apparently been in microcephaly crisis mode for many years ”
    Causes of microcephaly:
    Malnutrition
    Alcoholism
    Exposure to toxic chemicals.
    So instead of holding the chemical Corporations liable make up a new virus to blame and produce another vaccine to make money off of

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