Tag Archives: World Health Organization

Zika Virus proof of Biological Cause – Microcephaly meets Criteria

It’s official. Again.

Zika and Microcephaly.   

The life-threatening neurological paralysis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, was declared scientifically proven as a biological result from Zika Virus just days ago.

Zika virus has now beeKoch's Postulates - Courtesy Wikipedian scientifically linked as a biological cause to microcephaly, the underdeveloped brain syndrome found in fetuses and newborn babies (Malone et al., 2016).

Microcephaly had been challenged as a biological cause of Zika Virus.  Scientists wisely cautioned that it remain only a theoretical association.

Why?

Most noted the singular country origin, Brazil.  Also, studies were initially reported using symptoms and signs of the disease as evidence of a case rather than documenting lab tests of the disease, Zika Virus.

Then there were the findings, misinterpreted by a surprisingly high percentage of the general public (Harvey, 2016; Zika February 12-16, 2016 Survey, 2016).  Many feverishly propagated the incorrect news reports and social network messages (some for political gain) that microcephaly might be linked to genetically altered mosquitoes from a UK supplier or locally larviciding the water supply (Allen, 2016; Avila Vazquez, 2016).

Still, microcephaly has marched past the confines of Brazil into other countries, including Venezuela and Colombia.  It is now in eight countries, according to the World Health Organization (Zika situation report, 2016).  Microcephaly has followed wherever Zika Virus has left a footprint.

Researchers have now pulled together the existing evidence and wKochs postulates explainedeighed it against the scientific standard to establish biological causation, which are Koch’s postulates (Malone et al., 2016).  A disease must be present in the affected individuals who have the reaction or syndrome, according to the German professor, Robert Koch (Koch, 1876).

Thus, Zika Virus is the disease, and the syndrome is microcephaly.  Linking these could not be scientifically proven.

Until now.

In short, the researchers’ findings yielded, “The relationship between infection with Zika virus and primary microcephaly meets most accepted criteria for causality” (Malone et al., 2016).

It is interesting to note Malone’s research team published without knowledge that the Tahiti team just established a biological cause for the other associated outcome, the neurological paralysis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, also basing their findings on biological evidence of disease (Cao-Lormeau et al., 2016).  Thus, Malone’s team was forced to declare that the available evidence needed to establish causality was currently, “plausible, but analysis is complicated by regional co-endemnicity of dengue and chikungunya (viruses)” (Malone et al., 2016).

Another notable comment by the research team is the dim outlook for Zika Virus interventions… in the near future. Indeed, Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, recently admitted that Zika will get worse before it gets better (Zika outbreak will worsen before it gets better, 2016).  The researchers noted, “In the absence of currently available vaccines, the likely long timeline for vaccine development, and the open questions about the basic pathogenesis of Zika virus infection, parallel development of other prophylactics and therapeutics must be explored” (Malone et al., 2016).

Globally-influential research now asserts it is prudent to consider other prophylactics (preventive measures) that strengthen an individual’s immune system and reduce the risk of negative outcomes, which now officially include microcephaly and the Guillain-Barré syndrome.  

 

REFERENCES:

Allen, G. (2016). Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Join The Fight To Stop Zika Virus. Goats and Soda. National Public Radio, 29 January 2016.  Retrieved 30 January 2016 from http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/01/26/464464459/genetically-modified-mosquitoes-join-the-fight-to-stop-zika-virus

Avila Vazquez, M. (2016). REPORT from Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed  Villages regarding Dengue-Zika, microcephaly, and mass-spraying with chemical poisons. Team REDUAS. Retrieved February 15, 2016 from http://www.reduas.com.ar/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2016/02/Informe-Zika-de-Reduas_TRAD.pdf

Cao-Lormeau, Van-Mai et al. (2016). Guillain-Barré Syndrome outbreak associated with Zika virus infection in French Polynesia: a case-control study. The Lancet. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)00562-6 Retrieved March 1, 2016 from http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736%2816%2900562-6.pdf

Harvey, C. (2016). A shocking one-third of Americans believe this Zika conspiracy theory.  The Washington Post.  February 23, 2016. Retrieved March 1, 2016 from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/02/23/a-shocking-one-third-of-americans-believe-this-zika-conspiracy-theory/

Koch, R. (1876). “Untersuchungen über Bakterien: V. Die Ätiologie der Milzbrand-Krankheit, begründet auf die Entwicklungsgeschichte des Bacillus anthracis” [Investigations into bacteria: V. The etiology of anthrax, based on the ontogenesis of Bacillus anthracis]. Cohns Beitrage zur Biologie der Pflanzen (in German) 2 (2): 277–310. Retrieved March 6, 2016 from http://edoc.rki.de/documents/rk/508-5-26/PDF/5-26.pdf

Malone RW, Homan J, Callahan MV, Glasspool-Malone J, Damodaran L, et al. (2016).  Zika Virus: Medical Countermeasure Development Challenges. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 10(3): e0004530. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004530 Retrieved March 6, 2016 from http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pntd.0004530

Zika February 12-16, 2016 Survey. (2016). The University of Pennsylvania-Annenberg Public Policy Center. Retrieved March 1, 2016 from  http://www.annenbergpublicpolicycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/ZikaWeek1Appendix.pdf

Zika situation report. (2016). Emergencies, as of 4 March 2016. World Health Organization.  Retrieved 6 March 2016 from http://www.who.int/emergencies/zika-virus/en/ and http://www.who.int/emergencies/zika-virus/situation-report/4-march-2016/en/

Zika outbreak will worsen before it gets better, WHO head says. (2016). Health Home: Pregnancy. Reuters. Retrieved 6 March 6, 2016 from http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/02/24/zika-outbreak-will-worsen-before-it-gets-better-who-head-says.html

Zika Virus has a Biological Cause – It’s Now Proven

It’s official.

Zika and Guillain-Barré syndrome.   Guillain-Barre Syndrome by Lynm, JAMA 2011

Yes.

Zika virus has now been scientifically linked as a biological cause for the life-threatening, neurological paralysis known as Guillain-Barré syndrome.

The other popular association with Zika, microcephaly in newborns, has not yet been proven to have a biological link to the virus.    More scientific research is needed to confirm or deny this presumption.

It has now been scarcely two months since North American listeners first received wide scale news reports about the fast-moving Zika Virus.  Social networks, news media, and Internet articles have responded with such fury that one in three North Americans believe the lie that Zika Virus originated from genetically modified mosquitoes manufactured by Oxitec, a U.K. company (Harvey, 2016).

Indeed, almost 100-percent of those surveyed by the University of Pennsylvania recognized that mosquitoes were the primary source of Zika Virus transmission (Zika February 12-16, 2016 Survey, 2016).  Two out of every three individuals admitted to learning about the Zika Virus mosquito risk from the news media.  Still, one-third of this same study group reached the wrong conclusion that the originating source was from Oxitec mosquitoes.

Oxitec mosquitoes (to quickly review) are genetically altered male, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.  Oxitec has demonstrated in Brazilian field tests it lowered mosquito populations by as much as 90 percent (Allen, 2016).  The introduction of these special mosquitoes to local, female Aedes aegypti mosquitos creates larvae offspring that cannot grow into mature, biting mosquitos.

None of the 1,014 USA-based individuals that were telephone interviewed by the University of Pennsylvania considered that all viruses regularly mutate or change to survive when encountering a new environment, host or geographic location (Domingo & Holland, 1997).  Such has been the ongoing challenge of HIV research and the quest to create an effective vaccine (Medina, Tsai, Hsiung & Cheng, 1994).  Zika Virus is a Group IV: positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus of the Flaviviridae family according to the Baltimore Classification and Taxonomy and first demonstrated mutation when it departed the African monkey host and entered humans (Faye et al., 2014).

Meanwhile, Guillain-Barré syndrome has remained an unchanging association with Zika Virus since it began its trans-Pacific Ocean travels in 2007.   Guillain-Barré syndrome (polyradiculoneuritis) is a rare, postinfectious neurological paralyzing disorder that requires hospitalized, intensive care (Asbury & Cornblath, 1990; Pluta & Lynm, 2011 – with illustration).  Polyradiculoneuritis is usually known as the extremely rare risk noted on some vaccination consent forms such as the annual influenza shot (Nelson, 2012).guillain-barre-syndrome diagnostic criteria

Guillain-Barré syndrome, however, skyrocketed when Zika Virus arrived on four islands across the Pacific Ocean (WHO Director-General, 2016; WHO to convene, 2016; Zika Virus Travel Alert, 2016).  French Polynesia experienced Zika Virus first-hand in 2013 from October until the following year in April.

French Polynesia was first to associate any biological risks from Zika Virus when it began to notice the once rare Guillain-Barré syndrome become a highly prevalent condition (WHO Director-General, 2016; WHO to convene, 2016).  The French Polynesia people recognized the mosquito origin, but without news reports about genetically-modified mosquitoes, there was no confounding information to confuse the local community.

The Centre Hospitalier de Polynésie Française is located in French Polynesia’s Tahiti.  Researchers there were able to collect data (case versus control) during the outbreak period, which established proof that the biological cause of Guillain-Barré syndrome was due to Zika Virus (Cao-Lormeau, Van-Mai et al., 2016).  41 of 42 cases with Guillain-Barré syndrome tested positive for Zika Virus using the anti-Zika virus IgM or IgG test.  The control group was only positive for Zika Virus in 54 (56%) of the 98 controls tested.

39 (93%) of the patients who had Guillain-Barré syndrome tested positive using the anti-Zika virus IgM test.  37 (88%) of these patients experienced a viral illness approximately six days before the neurological paralysis of Guillain-Barré syndrome began (Cao-Lormeau, Van-Mai et al., 2016).

The statistically significant link (p<0·0001) between Zika Virus illness and the quick onset of Guillain-Barré syndrome establishes Zika as the biological cause.

Zika Virus now has a proven biological link to Guillain-Barré syndrome (polyradiculoneuritis). Vaccination remains a distant hope in the future considering not everyone wants to be inoculated.  Fortunately, there exist, presently, opportunities to enhance an individual’s immune system and reduce the risk of negative outcomes like Guillain-Barré syndrome.  Transfer Factor is an orally-available option that has questionable claims that it educates your personal immune system;  it is the active ingredient in all mammalian mother’s colostrum (What are transfer factors? 2016).

 

REFERENCES:

Allen, G. (2016). Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Join The Fight To Stop Zika Virus. Goats and Soda. National Public Radio, 29 January 2016.  Retrieved 30 January 2016 from http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/01/26/464464459/genetically-modified-mosquitoes-join-the-fight-to-stop-zika-virus

Asbury, A. K., & Cornblath, D. R. (1990). Assessment of current diagnostic criteria for Guillain‐Barré syndrome. Annals of neurology, 27(S1), S21-S24.  DOI: 10.1002/ana.410270707

Cao-Lormeau, Van-Mai et al. (2016). Guillain-Barré Syndrome outbreak associated with Zika virus infection in French Polynesia: a case-control study. The Lancet. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)00562-6 Retrieved March 1, 2016 from http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736%2816%2900562-6.pdf

Domingo, E. J. J. H., & Holland, J. J. (1997). RNA virus mutations and fitness for survival. Annual Reviews in Microbiology, 51(1), 151-178. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.micro.51.1.151 Retrieved March 1, 2016 from http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.micro.51.1.151

Faye, O., et al. (2014). Molecular Evolution of Zika Virus during Its Emergence in the 20th Century.  PLOS: Neglected Tropical Diseases. January 9, 2014. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002636  Retrieved March 1, 2016 from http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0002636#abstract1

Harvey, C. (2016). A shocking one-third of Americans believe this Zika conspiracy theory.  The Washington Post.  February 23, 2016. Retrieved March 1, 2016 from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/02/23/a-shocking-one-third-of-americans-believe-this-zika-conspiracy-theory/

Medina, D. J., Tsai, C. H., Hsiung, G. D., & Cheng, Y. C. (1994). Comparison of mitochondrial morphology, mitochondrial DNA content, and cell viability in cultured cells treated with three anti-human immunodeficiency virus dideoxynucleosides. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy, 38(8), 1824-1828. Retrieved March 1, 2016 from http://aac.asm.org/content/38/8/1824.full.pdf+html

Nelson, K.E. (2012). Invited Commentary: Influenza Vaccine and Guillain-Barré syndrome – Is There a Risk? American Journal of Epidemiology. 175:11. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kws194 Retrieved March 1, 2016 from  http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/175/11/1129.full.pdf+html

Pluta, R.M. & Lynm, C. (2011). Guillain-Barré Syndrome (with illustration). JAMA. 2011;305(3):319. doi:10.1001/jama.305.3.319 Retrieved March 1, 2016 from http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=645193

What are transfer factors? (2016). Retrieved September 3, 2016 from https://www.4life.com/8834499/about/science

WHO Director-General briefs Executive Board on Zika situation. (2016). Briefing to the Executive Board on the Zika situation, Geneva, Switzerland, 28 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016 from http://www.who.int/dg/speeches/2016/zika-situation/en/

WHO to convene an International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Zika virus and observed increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations.  (2016). WHO statement, 28 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016 from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2016/emergency-committee-zika/en/

Zika February 12-16, 2016 Survey. (2016). The University of Pennsylvania-Annenberg Public Policy Center. Retrieved March 1, 2016 from  http://www.annenbergpublicpolicycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/ZikaWeek1Appendix.pdf

Zika Virus Travel Alert. (2016). Transcript for CDC Telebriefing: Zika Virus Travel Alert, Thursday, January 28, 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016 from http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/t0128-zika-virus-101.html

 

 

Zika Virus HOAX – Why Larviciding in the Water Supply is a Good Thing!

The HOAX of the larvacide-containing “contaminated” water as the “true” source for microcephaly appears to be now put to rest.

Earlier, a HOAX was announced that microcephaly doesn’t come from Zika Virus…it comes from “the larvacide… pyroproxyfen” (correct spelling is: pyriproxyfen) placed in the drinking water at the same locations where both Zika and microcephaly occur. Argentinian and Brazilian scientists of Production Team REDUAS made this assertion on 3 February 2016 in a publication authored by Dr. Medardo Avila Vazquez.   

And, it was soon discovered that larviciding is nothing new. In fact, it has been practiced as an effective, WHO-approved method for mosquito control for over 100 years.

The International Health Board (IHB) of 1915 served as current wisdom during the major eradication efforts for Yellow Fever, 100 years ago. According to Frank M. Snowden’s book (2014), “The Global Challenge of Malaria: Past Lessons and Future Prospects,” the IHB Mosquito Larvaequickly learned that mosquito larviciding was much more effective than chasing adult mosquitoes.

In fact, the IHB advised the Brazilians of that day to abandon all efforts to kill fully grown mosquitos such as fogging and spraying. It recommended, instead, that they focus on reducing the mosquito larvae population, which is much more responsive to minimal effort.

Long-term inattention to larviciding since the initial fight against Yellow Fever has permitted overgrowth of the Aedes (for Dengue and Zika and Yellow Fever) and Anopheles (for Malaria) mosquitoes along the Americas.

So, how has this put to rest the matter of larvicide as the false source for the recent uptick in microcephaly?

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that two countries, Colombia and Venezuela, are documenting similar spikes in the life-threatening paralysis, the Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) (Guillain-Barré syndrome – Colombia and Venezuela, 2016).

Colombia documents 86 new cases of GBS in the past five weeks, which is 3 times higher than normal. “Normal” was based on the past 6 years of statistics in Colombia, which is usually 242 new cases in an entire year. Each GBS case had Zika Virus symptoms.

Venezuela documents 252 new cases of GBS, just in the month of January 2016. Each registered Zika Virus symptoms. Only three (3) of the GBS cases, however, were confirmed Zika-positive by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

There is no vaccination option or specific anti-viral therapy currently available. 65% of the Venezuelan cases had additional complications and received variations of plasmapheresis transfusions and immunoglobulin injections (Guillain-Barré syndrome – Colombia and Venezuela, 2016).

WHO strongly urges people in affected countries to USE larvacides as part of the WHO Pesticide Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES) of 2003 (Najera and Zaim, 2003). And, revised in 2006 (PESTICIDES AND THEIR APPLICATION: For the control of vectors and pests of public health importance, 2006).

Page 80 of the 2003 document “MALARIA VECTOR CONTROL,” outlines approved practices in larviciding. The WHO details petroleum (oil), polystyrene beads, low dose organophosphates and insect growth regulators (pyriproxyfen and diflubenzuron), and microbial insecticides (of the bacterium Bacillus genus) as effective larvicides.

Table 4 on page 29 of the 2006 document outlines the WHO-approved concentrations to treat mosquitoes. “Larviciding should be considered as complementary to environmental management. Page 31 states, “The toxicology of the active ingredients methoprene, pyriproxyfen and temephos and those in B. thuringiensis israelensis has been assessed by the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) to determine their safety for use as mosquito larvicides in drinking-water at dosages that are effective against Aedes larvae.”

The WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality of 2011 outlines, in Chapter 12.2, safe pesticide use for drinking water sources (Guidelines for drinking-water quality, 2011). Pyriproxyfen is documented on page 439-40 of Chapter 12.2 (Chemical fact sheets, 2011).

“WHO has assessed pyriproxyfen for use as a mosquito larvicide in drinking-water in containers, particularly to control dengue fever. The recommended dosage of pyriproxyfen in potable water in containers should not exceed 0.01 mg/l under WHOPES.”

 

REFERENCES:

Avila Vazquez, M. (2016). REPORT from Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed  Villages regarding Dengue-Zika, microcephaly, and mass-spraying with chemical poisons. Team REDUAS. Retrieved February 15, 2016 from http://www.reduas.com.ar/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2016/02/Informe-Zika-de-Reduas_TRAD.pdf

Chemical fact sheets. (2011). Chapter 12, Guidelines for drinking-water quality, fourth edition. Water Sanitation Health.  World Health Organization.  Retrieved February 16, 2016 http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/publications/2011/9789241548151_ch12.pdf?ua=1

Guidelines for drinking-water quality, fourth edition. (2011). Water Sanitation Health.  World Health Organization.  Retrieved February 16, 2016 from http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/publications/2011/dwq_chapters/en/

Guillain-Barré syndrome – Colombia and Venezuela. (2016). Disease Outbreak News, January 12, 2016. World Health Organization. Retrieved February 16, 2016 from http://www.who.int/csr/don/12-february-2016-gbs-colombia-venezuela/en/

Najera, J.A. and Zaim, M. (2003). MALARIA VECTOR CONTROL: DECISION MAKING CRITERIA AND PROCEDURES FOR JUDICIOUS USE OF INSECTICIDES. WHO Pesticide Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES). Retrieved February 16, 2016 from http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/67365/1/WHO_CDS_WHOPES_2002.5_Rev.1.pdf

PESTICIDES AND THEIR APPLICATION: For the control of vectors and pests of public health importance. (2006). 6th edition.  Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases. WHO Pesticide evaluation scheme (WHOPES). Retrieved February 16, 2016 from http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/69795/1/WHO_CDS_NTD_WHOPES_GCDPP_2006.1_eng.pdf

Snowden, F. M. and Bucala, R. (2014). The Global Challenge of Malaria : Past Lessons and Future Prospects. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Company. ISBN: 978-9814405584 9814405582.