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Zika Thoughts: No Panic Needed

by Dr. Brownstein
Holistic Medicine

I was waiting to comment on the Zika virus until more information comes to light, but I have decided to throw my two cents in.  As most of you know, in Brazil, there is an epidemic of microcephaly—infants being born with tiny heads and many health problems associated with it.  An astute doctor in Brazil first recognized the connection between microcephaly and the Zika virus.

However, it is far from proven that the Zika virus is causing microcephaly.  I do not think Zika is causing the epidemic of microcephaly in Brazil.  The reason I do not think Zika is causing this epidemic is that Zika has been around for a long time—why has microcephaly suddenly become an epidemic in Brazil?  And, where are the other cases of microcephaly where Zika virus is endemic?

Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites.  The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

Zika was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys.  Outbreaks of Zika virus have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific.  I will ask the question:  Over the last 70 years, where are the cases of microcephaly in these Zika-endemic areas?

In the mainland U.S., 35 cases of Zika have been reported and these are all travel-associated.  There have been no locally acquired vector-borne cases reported.  The CDC has issued travel warnings and recommending abstaining from sex if a male partner has travelled to a place where Zika is spreading.

Something is causing microcephaly in this Zika-infested area of Brazil.  It is interesting that the area where the residents are suffering with microcephaly is the same area where 800,000 genetically modified mosquitoes were released to counter both dengue and Zika viral infections.  Could there be a link between the cases of microcephaly and the release of the genetically modified mosquitoes?  Yes, but it is much too early to draw this conclusion.

What else could be causing the microcephalic problem?  Interestingly, pregnant women of Brazil were required to get a new vaccine—DTwP (the whole-cell pertussis vaccine).  Perhaps there is a problem with this new vaccine?  Asking the proper questions can only begin the thought process to finding the correct answers.  By the way, this new vaccine contains aluminum hydroxide which is a known neurotoxin that has no business being injected into any living being.  (To be fair, many vaccines in the U.S. also contain aluminum.)  Also, I have seen reports that pregnant Brazilian women were encouraged (perhaps required) to also receive the MMR vaccine.  Are the DTwP and MMR safe to give during pregnancy?  Nobody knows as there have been no randomized studies on whether these vaccines are safe or effective for pregnant women.  (Of course, we have it no better here—there are zero randomized studies showing the same thing with the flu vaccine or the TDaP vaccines  which are routinely given to pregnant women in the U.S.)

Could this problem be caused by a pesticide or other environmental toxin?  Hopefully future research will answer all these questions.  Right now, I would not rule out any of the ideas I have thrown out here.  As for Zika causing the epidemic—I doubt it.

What can be done?  First, there is no reason for the U.S. to panic.  Zika is a relatively mild virus in most cases.  Hopefully, we will see the proper research being done to ascertain what has happened in Brazil.  Would I change travel plans to Brazil for the summer Olympics?  No.  However, I would take a lot of vitamin C and iodine with me!

Let’s hope that the CDC doesn’t pour all its energy into making a vaccine against Zika until it is proven to be the cause of this epidemic.  And, if we are going to have a vaccine against Zika, perhaps we could get a safe vaccine that does not contain neurotoxins.

Read the entire article on Dr. Brownstein’s Holistic Medicine.