The world is still watching Brazil as the microcephaly epidemic continues to wreak havoc on the population. However, many are starting to wonder, if Zika is the culprit, why aren’t there similar epidemics in the other countries hit hard by the virus? While the microcephaly rate soared to more than 1,500 confirmed cases in Brazil, a recent study in Colombia- of nearly 12,000 pregnant women infected with Zika- found zero microcephaly cases. If Zika is to blame for microcephaly, where are the missing cases?
The New England Journal of Medicine recently 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 infection, no cases of microcephaly were reported as of May 2. At the same time, four cases of Zika and microcephaly were reported in women who were asymptomatic for Zika infection (and therefore not included in the study).
It may be time to reconsider the connection between Zika and microcephaly, at least the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) believes so.
From the article:
“The Zika and microcephaly cases that are not part of the study show that there are many more pregnancies affected by Zika without symptoms. Because there are four cases of microcephaly with Zika, and none in the study, there should be about four times as many cases of Zika that are unreported. This means there are at least 60,000 Zika-infected pregnancies in Colombia.
The NECSI report analyzes the data and shows that the four cases of Zika and microcephaly that have been observed till April 28 are just what would be expected due to the background rate — of the 60,000 pregnancies about 20,000 births would already be expected. The expected microcephaly rate for countries with no reported infections of 2-in-10,000 births gives exactly four cases. 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.”
Because of this evidence, NECSI wants the cause of microcephaly in Brazil to be reconsidered. In February, when this epidemic began, we shared a story which questioned whether or not the pesticide pyriproxyfen was actually to blame. But, those in the health community also wondered whether or not the Tdap vaccine was to blame, or even GM mosquitos that had been released in the area. What seems to have become clear recently is that we aren’t sure. Perhaps “they” were too quick to label Zika as the culprit. Or maybe, “they” did it right on time.
What is absolutely clear is that we don’t need a vaccine, we need to know what’s going on. We need further study. Thankfully, a physicians group in Brazil and Argentina, the Swedish Toxicology Sciences Research Center, and NECSI have called for further studies on the potential link between pyriproxyfen and microcephaly. Let’s start there.
We will keep you updated as we have more information.
Source: Science Daily