From Dr. Mercola:
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would provide $622 million to fight the Zika virus. Yet, by White House estimates, this is “woefully inadequate.” They’ve recommended directing $1.9 billion to fight this latest declared public health emergency.1
I use the term emergency loosely here, as we’ve seen these types of overzealous responses before. First, a new threat is revealed. Remember SARS, bird flu, swine flu and Ebola? Or even the measles “outbreak” in 2015?
There was widespread fear, outrage and panic that the disease would sweep across the U.S., affecting populations from border to border. Calls for experimental drugs and vaccines were made and millions, if not billions, of dollars were spent. And for what?
In most cases, the diseases fizzled out on their own, exacting a far less sensational health toll than the media and, often, the government had you believe. In the case of swine flu, for example, the U.S. government ordered 20 million doses of the drug Tamiflu — costing $2 billion — to fight the pandemic that never was.
That drug has a shelf life of three years. Money well spent? Now they’re proposing another $1.9 billion to fight Zika — is this a case of history repeating itself?
Zika Virus: From Obscure Mild Illness to Booming Industry Virtually Overnight
Last year at this time, you probably had never heard of Zika virus. And if you had, you probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Most people infected with Zika virus won’t even know they have the disease because they won’t have symptoms.”2
Then the headlines started. Cases of microcephaly, in which babies are born with unusually small heads, in Brazil were said to have surged from an average of about 150 suspected cases of microcephaly annually to more than 4,780 suspected cases from October 2015 to February 2016.
Although there does not appear to be any evidence prior to 2016 suggesting Zika virus might cause birth defects, the rise in microcephaly was blamed on Zika-carrying mosquitoes.
The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, presumably, have been in Brazil all along — so why is the sudden increase in suspected cases of microcephaly being blamed on that mosquito?
This is but one questionable factor in the Zika virus scare. At this point, Zika virus might be associated with birth defects, but causation has not been definitively proven.
In the U.S., for instance, there are about 25,000 infants born with microcephaly every year. The U.S. is not considered to be a region where Zika virus is endemic and, according to the journal Neurology:3
“Microcephaly may result from any insult that disturbs early brain growth and can be seen in association with hundreds of genetic syndromes.”
It may be too soon to rule out Zika virus as a contributing cause, but it’s also too soon to declare it a public health emergency and pull out all the stops