Last year I never heard of Zika virus, did you?

Last year I never heard of Zika virus, did you?

Last year I never heard of Zika virus, did you?

Not long ago most people never heard of the Zika virus, now it is an “Industry”

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Most people infected with Zika virus will not even know they have the disease because they will not have symptoms.”

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 Y 2016 suggesting Zika virus might cause birth defects, the rise in microcephaly was blamed on Zika-carrying mosquitoes.

The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes have likely been in Brazil all along begging  The Big Q: 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 US there are about 25,000 infants born with microcephaly yearly, and it is not considered to be a region where Zika virus is endemic and, according to the journal Neurology: “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 is also too soon to declare it a public health emergency and pull out all the stops to wage a very expensive war against it.

Over the last 20 yrs whenever a new health emergency is announced, I look to see who stands to profit from its creation.

In Zika’s case there are lots of ‘Players” hoping to get a piece of the potentially $1.9-B Zika cash machine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has just pledged to gather another $56-M to combat Zika.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) co-founder Paul Allen also announced two Zika grants totaling more than $2-M, which are going to the American Red Cross to support mosquito-control efforts and education in Brazil and to Chembio Diagnostics Systems, Inc., which is planning to develop rapid tests to diagnose Zika.

As reported by The Vaccine Reaction: “It seems everybody wants in on the action. It is exciting to be one of the early pioneers in a brand new industry with lots of growth potential, particularly when it has such strong government support and when the prospects for mandated use of the vaccines are so promising … for the industry, that is.

There is already talk about Zika being with us forever and becoming one of those things against which we will routinely vaccinate.”

I have counted 18 companies so far that are racing to develop a vaccine against Zika, but 1 expert on vaccines combating mosquito-borne diseases, Dr. Thomas Monath, has expressed concerns.

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an autoimmune disease that can cause paralysis. Cases of GBS have been rising in areas reporting Zika outbreaks, and there is some evidence that Zika might be triggering GBS.

The concern is that exposure to Zika virus in a vaccine could trigger GBS, even if it is a killed or inactivated form of virus. GBS is already a known vaccine reaction. It’s in the process of being added to the official Vaccine Injury Table.

Research published in The Lancet journal suggested exposure to Zika virus may exacerbate the threat of GBS by 20X.

” … Practically everyone in the world knows about Zika and believes that the primary cause of babies being born with shrunken heads (microcephaly) and brain damage in Brazil is that their mothers were bitten by the Zika-carrying mosquito while they were pregnant,” The Vaccine Reaction reported. “Why does everyone believe that?” they continued.

“Because public health officials at the US Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) tell them so.

Forget that these federal health agencies have provided no solid scientific evidence of a causal relationship. That is beside the point. It’s the CDC and NIH.”

Time and time again we have see evidence that what the CDC says is not always accurate, sometimes it is wrong.

According to documents obtained by USA Today, a CDC-run laboratory had its permit suspended due to serious safety violations while working with viruses, bacteria and toxins (such as anthrax, plague and Ebola) that could be used as biological weapons.

CDC labs have been referred for “secret federal enforcement actions” 6 times because of serious or repeated violations. USA Today had to win access to the records via a Freedom of Information Act appeal. Prior to that, the CDC refused to answer questions about enforcement histories relating to its own labs.9

This is not the 1st time the CDC has been involved in safety violations. In Y 2014, as many as 84 scientists and staff members at a CDC biolab were exposed to live anthrax.

The live pathogen had been sent from a higher-security facility. Biosafety protocols were apparently not followed at either of the facilities. This and subsequent errors, involving H5N1 influenza virus and Ebola mix-ups at CDC labs, led to the creation of an external lab safety advisory group.

A follow-up report released by the advisory group in March 2015 called the CDC’s commitment to safety “inconsistent and insufficient” and also pointed out that “laboratory safety training is inadequate.”

Many Americans trust the CDC to provide accurate information about circulating viruses and other diseases, and often it is wrong.

It is possible Zika-carrying mosquitoes could be involved, but there are other factors that should be considered in this health information matter.

To beginwith, 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 already 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:

  1. Vitamin A deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of microcephaly
  2. The CDC lists malnutrition and exposure to toxic chemicals as known risk factors
  3. The CDC also notes certain infections during pregnancy, including rubella, cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, and others, are risk factors.

Meanwhile, there is no uproar over existing and pharmaceutical-caused epidemics, like opioid addiction.

The US government seeks “treatment” for the opioid epidemic without really addressing irresponsible prescribing and drug industry marketing or high-level financial conflicts of interest.

The government has also long allowed rampant overuse and inappropriate use of antibiotics, including in agriculture, which has led to rampant cases of antibiotic-resistant disease.

The government did not save Americans from any of the other public health emergencies in recent years, including :swine flu, bird flu and Ebola.

What you can be sure if is that the government will continue to support big pharma.

I read last night that the Us House of Representatives passed a bill that would provide $622-M to fight the Zika virus. And that the Obama White House says that is “woefully” inadequate. And recommended directing $1.9-B to fight this latest CDC declared public health emergency.

Here is how it works: 1st, a new threat is revealed.

Remember SARS, bird flu, swine flu and Ebola, and even the measles outbreak in Y 2015?

Then comes widespread fear, outrage and panic that the disease would sweep across the US, affecting populations from border to border.

Then alls for experimental drugs and vaccines were and and millions, if not billions, of dollars were spent.

The next Big Q: For what?

In most cases, the diseases faded on their own, exacting a less sensational health toll than the media and the government had us believe.

In the case of swine flu, for example, the US government ordered 20-M doses of the drug Tamiflu (cost $2-B) to fight the pandemic that never was.

That drug has a shelf life of 3 years. Tamiflu is made by Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD)  a research-based bio-pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, and commercializes medicines in areas of unmet medical needs in North America, South America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific.

Now the government is proposing another $1.9-B to fight Zika, is this a case of history repeating itself, hummm.

Stay tuned…


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Paul Ebeling

Paul A. Ebeling, polymath, excels in diverse fields of knowledge. Pattern Recognition Analyst in Equities, Commodities and Foreign Exchange and author of “The Red Roadmaster’s Technical Report” on the US Major Market Indices™, a highly regarded, weekly financial market letter, he is also a philosopher, issuing insights on a wide range of subjects to a following of over 250,000 cohorts. An international audience of opinion makers, business leaders, and global organizations recognizes Ebeling as an expert.

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