Friday, August 19, 2016

Should you be worried about Zika?



“Zika Virus has been around for decades. In fact, it was first observed in monkeys in 1947, when researchers from the Rockefeller Foundation were conducting a research for Yellow Fever in the Zika Forest of Uganda. Instances of Zika virus in humans arose every now and then, but cases were mostly in equatorial regions. The symptoms were also mild enough that it could be left alone until it clears within a week, just like any normal fever,” says an article in Tech Times.  

Florida now has confirmed cases of Zika. Miami is spraying a strong insecticide to kill mosquitoes. The main ingredient in that insecticide is called Naled.

Naled is one of a class of insecticides referred to as organophosphates. These chemicals act by interfering with the activities of cholinesterase, an enzyme that is essential for the proper working of the nervous systems of both humans and insects…Severe poisoning will affect the central nervous system, producing incoordination, slurred speech, loss of reflexes, weakness, fatigue… Naled is highly to moderately toxic to birds… Naled is toxic to most types of aquatic life… Naled is highly toxic to bees… Protective clothing must be worn when handling naled. (What’s wrong with the picture above?) …Basic manufacturer: Valent U.S.A. Corp…” 

The main pesticide used in Brazil was pyriproxyfen. Here’s what it does:

Pyriproxyfen mimics a natural hormone in insects and disrupts their growth. It is a type of insect growth regulator that affects mostly young insects and eggs…In studies with rats, more than three quarters left the body within seven days. However, very small amounts of pyriproxyfen can be stored in fat and breast milk in the body… Two groups of laying hens were fed pyriproxyfen for eight days. A very small amount of the dose was found in the eggs, with most in the yolks…In one study, rats fed high doses of pyriproxyfen during pregnancy did not have any effects on their young. Similarly exposed rabbits had reduced birth rates only at the highest dose tested. In another study with rats, some young had unusual skeletal and digestive changes… Pyriproxyfen is practically nontoxic to birds, mammals, and adult honeybees. However, eggs and larval stages of honeybees and other insects are much more likely to be sensitive than adults…” 

“Starting in 2014, pyriproxifen was put into Brazilian water supplies to fight the proliferation of mosquito larvae… On February 3, 2016, the [possibility] that pyriproxyfen, not the Zika virus, is the cause of the 2015-2016 microcephaly outbreak in Brazil was raised in a report of the Argentinean organization Physicians in Crop-Sprayed Villages…On February 13, the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul suspended pyriproxyfen's use… ‘the city of Recife has the current highest reported amount of cases of microcephaly, yet pyriproxyfen is not used in the region…’ Manufactured by Sumitomo Chemical of Japan,” according to Wikipedia.

I'm no scientist, but it seems like if you replace a chemical that harms the nervous system with one that affects eggs, fetal skeletons, and birth rates, and you begin to see birth defects...

Now, here’s part of the story that wasn’t generally reported:

“After experts scrutinized 732 of the cases [in Brazil] they found that more than half either weren’t microcephaly, or weren’t related to Zika. Just 270 were confirmed as microcephaly that appears to be linked to Zika or other infectious diseases…The condition can also be caused by genetic factors or drug or alcohol abuse during pregnancy,” according to the Washington Post. 

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