Zika: Brazil Admits It’s Not the Virus


Amidst growing fear-based propaganda warning of the threat of Zika virus comes a quiet admission from health officials in Brazil: Zika alone may not be responsible for the rise in birth defects that plagued parts of the country.

While there is some (limited) evidence suggesting Zika virus may be linked to the birth defect microcephaly, and the virus has been spreading throughout Brazil, rates of the condition have only risen to very high rates in the northeast section of Brazil.

Since the virus has spread throughout Brazil, but extremely high rates of microcephaly have not, officials are now being forced to admit that something else is likely at play.

Dr. Fatima Marinho, director of information and health analysis at Brazil’s ministry of health, told the journal Nature, “We suspect that something more than Zika virus is causing the high intensity and severity of cases.”1

Nearly 90 Percent of Brazil Microcephaly Cases Occurred in the Northeast

Since last November, more than 1,700 confirmed cases of congenital microcephaly or other birth defects of the central nervous system have been reported in Brazil.

When the cases first began and were reportedly linked to Zika virus, health officials believed they’d see “an explosion of birth defects” across Brazil, according to Marinho.2 But that hasn’t happened.

Data compiled by Marinho and colleagues, which has been submitted for publication, suggest socio-economic factors may be involved. Most of the women who gave birth to babies with microcephaly were poor and lived in small cities or on the outskirts of big cities.

In addition, the outbreak occurred in a largely poverty-stricken agricultural area of Brazil that uses large amounts of banned pesticides.

Between these factors and the lack of sanitation and widespread vitamin A and zinc deficiency, you have the basic framework for an increase in poor health outcomes among newborn infants in that area.

Environmental pollution and toxic pesticide exposure have been positively linked to a wide array of adverse health effects, including birth defects. For instance:

Vitamin A deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of microcephaly3

The CDC lists malnutrition and exposure to toxic chemicals as known risk factors4

The CDC also notes certain infections during pregnancy, including rubella, cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis and others, are risk factors

Data Is Lacking to Confirm Zika-Microcephaly Link

It’s also been suggested that microcephaly may be the result of Zika virus occurring alongside other infections, such as dengue and chikungunya.

The Brazilian doctor who first reportedly established the link between Zika virus and microcephaly is even considering whether another disease, Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), may be involved, as BVDV proteins were also detected in the brains of three fetuses with microcephaly.

BVDV causes birth defects in cattle but is not known to infect people. Researchers suggested that infection with Zika virus may make it easier for BVDV to infect humans.5

Adding to the complexities, much of the microcephaly data from Brazil comes from incomplete hospital reports. In most cases, tests to confirm Zika infection were not carried out.

In June 2016, the Zika in Infants and Pregnancy Study was launched in Puerto Rico. It aims to monitor up to 10,000 pregnant women to examine Zika virus along with nutritional, socio-economic and environmental factors and their potential link to birth defects. However, the results of a similar study have only raised further doubts.

12,000 Zika Cases Confirmed in Pregnant Colombian Women — Zero Microcephaly Cases

According to a report by the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), there are serious questions about whether Zika virus is the cause of microcephaly. They cite the preliminary results of a New England Journal of Medicine study, which followed nearly 12,000 pregnant Colombian women infected with Zika virus.6

No cases of microcephaly were reported in their babies as of May 2016, yet four cases of microcephaly were reported among women who had Zika infection with no symptoms and were therefore not included in the study.

The researchers then speculated that this means there could be four times as many cases of Zika infection that are unreported, for a total of at least 60,000 Zika-infected pregnancies in Colombia.

Using this data, an analysis revealed the rate of microcephaly to be what would be expected in any area, whether Zika is in the picture or not, which is 2 cases in 10,000 births.7 According to NECSI:8

“This gives a consistent interpretation that there is no direct link between Zika and microcephaly except for random co-occurrence.

We note that the base rate of microcephaly in the absence of Zika is 140 per year in Colombia, which is consistent with the approximately 50 microcephaly cases in the first [four] months of 2016, only [four] of which have been connected to Zika. When interpreting Zika as the cause, background cases must be subtracted.”

By June 2016, 11 total microcephaly cases had been reported in women with Zika infections in Colombia. If Zika and microcephaly are linked, NECSI pointed out that the total number of microcephaly cases should rise dramatically in the next few months, reaching more than 10 microcephaly-Zika births each week.9

NECSI also suggested, “An alternative cause of microcephaly in Brazil could be the pesticide pyriproxyfen, which is cross-reactive with retinoic acid, which causes microcephaly, and is being used in drinking water.”10

WHO Expert: Zika Response ‘Completely Hysterical’

Florence Fouque, a World Health Organization (WHO) expert on animals that carry viruses, called the public response to the Zika virus “completely hysterical.”11 She blamed the hysteria on the findings that the virus affects pregnant women and can be sexually transmitted.

“It’s like AIDS,” she told PRI. “People make this link and that’s why they are really afraid.”12 At one restaurant in downtown Miami, Florida, where a handful of Zika cases were detected in August 2016, insect repellent was placed on all the tables.13

Even Oliver Brady, an epidemiologist with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who was asked by Brazilian officials to assess the Zika-microcephaly situation, said there’s no conclusive evidence that Zika causes birth defects in humans.

He told PRI that while animal studies have shown the virus attacks brain cells, this isn’t “final proof:”14

“You see that with a lot of arboviruses [viruses spread by mosquitoes and other insects] … They have pathogenic qualities and if you put them in the right tissue then they will cause some sort of damage. And they tend to be quite transmissible across a variety of barriers anyway.

So it doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s the mechanism that’s happening out there in the field, even if it does work in the lab.”

National Institutes of Health Launches Trial for Experimental Zika Vaccine

The U.S. is among those ignoring data and rushing to launch a vaccine against Zika virus before it’s even known whether it’s causing birth defects. What is known, however, is that experimental vaccines have real risks, which are often downplayed in the wake of perceived global “emergencies” such as Zika.

In August 2016, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced it launched a clinical trial of an experimental Zika vaccine — again, before there is conclusive proof that Zika causes microcephaly.

Eighty healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35 will be vaccinated with varying doses of the experimental vaccine. No placebos will be given. The vaccine is said to be similar to a West Nile Virus vaccine that was previously developed by the NIH, but has not yet been approved. This alone should be a red flag, as should the disastrous outcome of the CYD-TDV vaccine, the first dengue vaccine approved by WHO in April 2016.

Dengue Vaccine Hints at Potential Problems With Zika Vaccines

Dr. Scott B. Halstead, former senior adviser of the Dengue Vaccine Initiative and the founder of Children’s Vaccine Initiative, told the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy:15

“It’s happened. We have a vaccine that enhances dengue … It’s clear as the nose on my face: Vaccine recipients less than 5 years old had five to seven times more rates of hospitalizations for severe dengue virus than placebo controls.”

He’s referring to the results of a three-year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine,16 which suggest the vaccine causes antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). Halstead explained:17 “Over time, you make and keep protective levels of antibody from the initial infection, but you lose the cross-reactive antibodies … That allows a second dengue infection to cause severe illness … ”

At this point, it’s unknown how this relates to Zika virus, but it’s possible that pre-existing immunity to dengue may lead to more severe infection with Zika virus. The University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy quoted concerns voiced by Dr. Philip K. Russell, the former director of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, as well as founding president and chairman of the Sabin Vaccine Institute:

“Russell said that the fact that Zika is occurring in areas where dengue has been endemic hints at a serious potential problem with ADE and Zika vaccine development. ‘The current epidemic of Zika, which is usually mild disease, is made a lot worse in these populations,’ Russell said. ‘I think there’s a major effect, but the studies haven’t been done yet to sort that out.’

More Toxic Exposures Are Not the Answer

Many areas are ramping up pesticide spraying to combat Zika virus. A Clean Water Act permit is generally required to spray pesticides in areas where they might end up in water. The permit is intended to keep the toxic chemicals from contaminating water, but now the Zika virus has been used as an excuse to do away with this common-sense precaution.

The language was inserted into the Zika Vector Control Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives. It would exempt pesticide applicators from needing a Clean Water Act permit, even when spraying near water. Critics argued the bill would do little to help fight Zika virus, since mosquito-control agencies already have authority to apply pesticides in emergency situations to prevent the spread of infectious disease without applying for permits.

Opponents say the bill has nothing to do with combating Zika and, instead, has been on the table for years, with the majority pushing for its passage “under whatever name” was convenient at the time.18 A White House spokesman also said it hasn’t ruled out relaxing restrictions on some pesticides to fight Zika.19

By removing requirements for permits when spraying pesticides near water, it’s likely the use of these chemicals will skyrocket, including via aerial spraying, which was recently started in Miami, Florida.

Aerial Mosquito Spraying May Increase Autism Risk

Unfortunately, many may suffer as a result. In research presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting, aerial pesticide exposure was linked to an increased risk of developmental delays and autism spectrum disorder among children.20 The study compared children living in zip codes where aerial pesticide spraying was used each summer to combat mosquitoes that carry the eastern equine encephalitis virus with children living in non-aerial-spraying zip codes.

Children exposed to the aerial pesticide spraying were about 25 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism or have a documented developmental delay than those living in areas that used other methods of pesticide application (such as manual spreading of granules).

If authorities use the supposed threat of Zika to increase aerial spraying, it could increase children’s risk of brain disorders, which is the opposite of what anti-Zika campaigns are supposed to achieve.

Mosquito Experts Admit Zika Threat Risk ‘Near Zero’

Even mosquito experts are questioning the extent of emergency that actually exists. Chris Barker, Ph.D., a mosquito-borne virus researcher at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, told WebMD:21 “I think the risk for Zika actually setting up transmission cycles that become established in the continental U.S. is near zero.”

Barker expects Zika to go the way of other tropical diseases spread by mosquitoes, such as dengue fever and chikungunya, in the U.S. with small clusters of outbreaks in southern states and little activity elsewhere. You needn’t go dousing your backyard in chemicals in an attempt to stay safe from Zika virus (whose connection to birth defects is still being explored).

If, however, mosquitoes are bothersome for you, draining standing water, including pet bowls, gutters, garbage and recycling bins, spare tires, bird baths, children’s toys and so on, is important.

This is where mosquitoes breed, so if you eliminate standing water you’ll eliminate many mosquitoes. A simple house fan could also help keep mosquitoes at bay if you’re having a get-together in your backyard or, for a longer-term solution, try installing a bat house (bats are voracious consumers of insects, especially mosquitoes). Regularly consuming garlic may also help protect against mosquito bites, as may the following natural insect repellants:

Cinnamon leaf oil (one study found it was more effective at killing mosquitoes than DEET22)

Clear liquid vanilla extract mixed with olive oil

Wash with citronella soap, and then put some 100 percent pure citronella essential oil on your skin. Java Citronella is considered the highest quality citronella on the market

Catnip oil (according to one study, this oil is 10 times more effective than DEET23)

Originally appeared on Dr Mercola’s site. Reprinted with total permission : )

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Erin Elizabeth


Erin Elizabeth is a long time activist with a passion for the healing arts, working in that arena for a quarter century. Her site HealthNutNews.com is barely 4 years old, but cracked the top 20 Natural Health sites worldwide. She is an author, public speaker, and has recently done some TV and film programs for some of her original work which have attracted international media coverage. Erin was the recipient for the Doctors Who Rock "Truth in Journalism award for 2017. You can get Erin’s free e-book here and also watch a short documentary on how she overcame vaccine injuries, Lyme disease, significant weight gain, and more. Follow Erin on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

  • guest

    If you want to juice up a fear mongering campaign that is quickly fading away, especially before you get your hands on 1.9 billion you were hoping for and the little buggies you were counting on to scare the bejebbies out of people aren’t cooperating with you-you create your own reality. This is what the State of Florida with assistance I’m sure from the CDC who would benefit from getting 1.9 billion from congress has done:
    -First-they chose Florida as the staging area for this epidemic because of it’s connection to international tourism.
    -Next with the help of their paid for MSM outlets they consistently planted stories on online news sites that just by reading the comment sections are frequented by people, especially young parents who are hard wired to believe anything that comes from the CDC over the last 8 months building up to the pinnacle of :
    Oh My Gosh we found cases of Zika in people in Florida. We haven’t found any mosquitoes that carry the virus yet but we know that they are here so we must take the initiative and eradicate them ASAP.
    One thing they haven’t explained is how are they finding ZIKA cases in Florida and no mosquitoes with Zika have been caught? What is the health status of the people infected because the CDC states 80% of people are asymptomatic? The paid for CDC trained media never asks question on behalf of the America population-their focus is pushing the CDC/WHO agenda.
    -Now that the stage has been set and the FEAR ratcheted up it’s time to come to the rescue BUT their is an agenda embedded in that. The CDC/Florida/WHO MUST keep the fear going, so they chose to FIX the problem with a chemical bomb that will not only perpetuate the problem but cause more problems. In comes Nalad-a pesticide which has a number of adverse effects that actually mimic the few mild effects of Zika. Brilliant. So people who become ill from the pesticide will be told they are infected with ZIKA. Does it get any better-YES!
    -Because Naled studies have shown it to shrink the brain of lab mice-you now have the potential to create microcephaly in unborn children and say it was caused by ZIKA. There is no way they can contain aerial spraying so like in Brazil where the pesticide Larvicide – which Doctors on the ground in Brazil have said is the #1 culprit in the rise of microcephaly will makes it’s way into the food & water source. It also will be inhaled and who really knows for how long.

    You know the CDC-if they can’t find a problem they will just make one up. As Jon Rapport says they create medical reality hoaxes out of thin air that make the CIA jealous.

  • Frank Zeleniuk

    I suppose the Zika scare has some value to those promoting a population control tool since it discourages pregnancy but it may be a diversion to avoid culpability. Does anyone know for sure?
    It’s one of the reasons why I believe no politicians should be allowed to emigrate to Washington DC until we figure out what the hell is going on!

  • Trail Munkee

    Zika is almost the perfect vaccine to give someone. If someone was to catch Zika they would never know they had it and it would be gone with no lasting effects in a couple of weeks. Only about 2% of people who are bitten by a mosquito that has Zika will get it. Pharma can make will make a vaccine and then claim it is effective at stopping the virus and then demand we give it to children. This is why there is all the hype because with out fear no one would ever get the vaccine especially since there are more effective methods to not contract it like don;t go out side at night if you are in your 1st trimester.

  • PapaCat

    I can’t believe there are only 3 comments. There is so much to be outraged about with this ridiculous scare campaign just to sell virus vaccinations and pesticides that probably don’t work and probably endanger you!

  • PapaCat

    How convenient and ironic that the proposed solutions are actually more suspect causes of various brain defects than Zika!

  • Bbios

    Great article.I had heard Brazil had sprayed the mosquitoes with something which altered their genetics. I guess the hysteria was good while they figured out what was going on. Better safe than sorry. About repelling mosquitoes. I use a thin application of castor oil to repel mosquitoes. Very cheap and available. Encourage any dragonflies you may have, too. They are great. I only need to use the castor oil when the dragon flies are not out yet.