By now you’ve probably heard of the Zika virus in some way or another. Many people have their own opinions about it’s origins and the controversy surrounding it. The point of this article is to present information objectively so you can form your own opinions. Stay open minded, get all the viewpoints and perspectives before making concrete decisions.
This virus has created major concerns among young couples and families, and after the World Health Organization declared a state of emergency on the virus, it seems there needs to be some deeper investigating.
They have even gone so far as to recommend that we not to travel to these tropical regions, and if you live anywhere near these regions, which do reach all the way up into the southern United States, that you should put off having children till at least 2018.
New England Journal of Medicine Casts Doubts on Zika Being the Culprit
The epidemic in Brazil where children are being born with microcephaly has created a mystery around itself. If Zika is, in fact, the culprit then why are we not getting the same epidemic in other countries that are also seeing the virus?
In Brazil, the rate of microcephaly has jumped all the way to 1,500. However, in nearby Colombia where they have found almost 12,000 cases of pregnant women with the Zika virus they have not had a single child born with microcephaly.
If the Zika virus really is to blame then why aren’t these children being born with smaller heads? While this may appear to be a sign of relief for those who are near but not inside of Brazil there is still a very big question. What is really causing children in Brazil to be born with Microcephaly?
If It’s not Zika then What is Causing Microcephaly?
The New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) is asking this exact question especially surrounding the lack of cases in Colombia. This means a lot more research is needed to reconfirm if Zika is, in fact, the culprit and if not then we need to refocus our attention on finding the true cause.
“Recently, the New England Journal of Medicine published the preliminary results of a large study of pregnant Colombian women infected with Zika. Of the nearly 12,000 pregnant women with clinical symptoms of Zika infections until March 28, no cases of microcephaly were reported as of May 2. At the same time, four cases of Zika and microcephaly were reported for women who were symptomless for Zika infections and therefore not included in the study itself.” –sciencedaily.com
It is still incredibly important that we find the true cause behind this epidemic especially when they find 4 women who did not show signs of Zika and still had children born with Microcephaly. If we don’t refocus our search on finding the true cause then something like the Zika Virus could distract us and create a false sense of security for people who could still be at risk.
This could also be a localized case inside of Brazil that needs investigation in order to protect the people there.
The numbers just don’t add up especially if you saw the projections last year for how rapidly this issue was supposed to spread. We should already be seeing 4 times the number of cases of the Zika virus being unreported and a lot of children being born with Microcephaly.
“This means there are at least 60,000 Zika-infected pregnancies in Colombia.”-sciencedaily.com
Out of the estimated 60,000 pregnant women with the Zika virus around 20,000 of them should have already given birth.
“The study also notes that until April 28 there has been a total of about 50 microcephaly cases in Colombia, of which only four have been connected with Zika. The four cases are expected for the coincidence of Zika and microcephaly in the same pregnancies even if Zika is not the cause.” –sciencedaily.com
Could the cause really be a Pesticide?
NECSI believes that after looking at this recent evidence we need to reconsider the cause of the microcephaly in newly born children. One of the possibilities they raised was a pesticide known as pyriproxyfen.
This pesticide is added to the drinking water in some areas of Brazil in order to kill mosquito larvae who transmit the Zika virus.
“Pyriproxyfen is an analogue for insect juvenile hormone which is cross reactive with retinoic acid, which is known to cause microcephaly. A physicians group in Brazil and Argentina, the Swedish Toxicology Sciences Research Center, and NECSI have called for further studies of the potential link between pyriproxyfen and microcephaly.” –sciencedaily.com
So what do you think about the Zika Virus? Do you think it’s possible other factors like Pyriproxyfen are playing a part in this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
- Yaneer Bar-Yam, Dan Evans, Raphael Parens, Alfredo J. Morales, Fred Nijhout. Is Zika the cause of Microcephaly? Status Report. New England Complex Systems Institute, June 22, 2016 [link]
- Sonja A. Rasmussen, Denise J. Jamieson, Margaret A. Honein, Lyle R. Petersen. Zika Virus and Birth Defects — Reviewing the Evidence for Causality. New England Journal of Medicine, 2016; 374 (20): 1981 DOI:10.1056/NEJMsr1604338
- Oscar Pacheco, Mauricio Beltrán, Christina A. Nelson, Diana Valencia, Natalia Tolosa, Sherry L. Farr, Ana V. Padilla, Van T. Tong, Esther L. Cuevas, Andrés Espinosa-Bode, Lissethe Pardo, Angélica Rico, Jennita Reefhuis, Maritza González, Marcela Mercado, Pablo Chaparro, Mancel Martínez Duran, Carol Y. Rao, María M. Muñoz, Ann M. Powers, Claudia Cuéllar, Rita Helfand, Claudia Huguett, Denise J. Jamieson, Margaret A. Honein, Martha L. Ospina Martínez. Zika Virus Disease in Colombia — Preliminary Report. New England Journal of Medicine, 2016; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1604037