Magazine article The New American

Zika: Prompts Pleas for DDT: As Yet Another Mosquito-Borne Ailment-The Zika Virus-Rages across the Globe, Even This Time Including North America, Calls for DDT Are Surfacing and Being Ignored by the UN

Magazine article The New American

Zika: Prompts Pleas for DDT: As Yet Another Mosquito-Borne Ailment-The Zika Virus-Rages across the Globe, Even This Time Including North America, Calls for DDT Are Surfacing and Being Ignored by the UN

Article excerpt

The World Health Organization (WHO) has sparked a global scare over a tropical virus outbreak that officials say is worse than last year's Ebola epidemic, which killed 11,000 people in Africa. They predict the Zika virus could infect as many as four million people by the end of 2016. "Last year, the virus was detected in the Americas, where it is now spreading explosively," warned WHO Director-General Margaret Chan in January. She told her executive board in Geneva that the "level of alarm is extremely high," and on February 1 declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

For decades, the disease mainly affected monkeys, deriving its name from the Zika forest of Uganda, where the virus was first discovered in 1947 in a rhesus monkey. Eventually it spread to humans, but never before in great numbers. "Today the situation is dramatically different," explains Chan, because in fewer than 10 months Zika, first reported in Brazil in May, spread to more than 20 countries.

Zika victims are typically asymptomatic. One in five suffers a rash, conjunctivitis (pink eye), and/or flu-like symptoms of fever and joint pain. They normally recover within a week or two. So why all the panic? The virus is known to spread from a mother to her unborn child, and an alarming rise in birth defects and neurological disorders has accompanied the current outbreak. Chan said that WHO "strongly suspect[s]" a causal relationship between Zika virus and these problems, though a link has not been proven.

Officials believe Zika may cause a condition in infants known as microcephaly, or an abnormally small head, which involves poor brain development and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is often accompanied by seizures, developmental delay, intellectual disability, vision and hearing difficulties, and other neurological problems. Life expectancy is often drastically reduced. Officials link some 4,000 cases in the Americas to the current outbreak. "The increased incidence of microcephaly is particularly alarming, as it places a heart-breaking burden on families and communities," Chan said. "WHO is deeply concerned about this rapidly evolving situation."

Another principal concern is the possible link between Zika and the sometimes fatal Guillain-Barre syndrome, in which a person's immune system attacks his nerve cells. The results can range from a few weeks of muscle weakness to several months of paralysis or even death. The Brazil Ministry of Health reports a rise in cases of this otherwise rare disorder since the Zika outbreak began.

Various Central and South American countries are warning women to avoid pregnancy altogether until the threat is eradicated, and as Alex Newman reported for The New American, "The United Nations is exploiting hysteria over the Zika virus to wage war on babies, stepping up its efforts to legalize abortion across prolife Latin American nations where the killing of unborn children mostly remains a serious crime." Indeed, in a statement published on the UN Human Rights website, Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein openly attacked Latin American defense of the unborn: "Laws and policies that re-Strict [a woman's] access to [reproductive health] services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations." This sentiment has prompted a group of feminist organizations in Brazil, epicenter of the Zika outbreak, to petition the Supreme Federal Court to legalize abortion in cases of "malformation of the fetus," according to Catholic News Agency. Brazil's bishops immediately countered with a statement that Zika provides "no justification whatsoever to promote abortion."

"In a sane world, it's the virus that should be targeted for destruction, not a person infected by it," reads a petition circulated by LifeSiteNews.com. "But in our insane world of today, that's exactly what United Nations and other groups are doing--going after the victim, instead of the disease. …

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