Zika and Climate

Aedes Aegypti in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, author Muhammad Mahdi Karim, source Wikimedia

Aedes Aegypti in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, author Muhammad Mahdi Karim, source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Australian Journal of Pharmacy has just tried to link climate change, to the terrifying Zika Virus outbreak in South and Central America. The Zika Virus, a mosquito born disease, has been implicated in an upsurge of serious birth defects.

CLIMATE CHANGE COULD WORSEN DISEASES LIKE ZIKA VIRUS

The news of an outbreak of the Zika virus in South America is a grim reminder of the health hazards associated with a warming world, Climate and Health Alliance Executive Director Fiona Armstrong said today.

A study published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases this week documents the spread of the virus in Columbia, while Brazil is experiencing the largest known outbreak of Zika virus, which is being linked to the deaths of babies affected by microencephaly, or abnormally small brains.

“Regions with increasing average temperatures are at increased risk of mosquito-borne diseases, as mosquitoes thrive in and move to warmer regions,” says Armstrong.

Read more: https://ajp.com.au/news/climate-change-could-worsen-diseases-like-zika-virus/

The abstract of the referenced study;

Zika virus (ZIKV) is an arthropodborne member of the genus Flavivirus of the Spondweni serocomplex and is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes (primarily Ae. aegypti in urban and periurban cycles). ZIKV emerged in Africa and has caused outbreaks of febrile disease that clinically resemble dengue fever and other arboviral diseases (1) but has been linked to neurologic syndromes and congenital malformation (2). Outbreaks have been reported in the Yap islands of the Federated States of Micronesia (3), French Polynesia (4), and Oceania; Brazil is currently experiencing the first reported local transmission of ZIKV in the Americas (5).

The future spread of ZIKV is unpredictable, but the history of ZIKV has been reminiscent of chikungunya virus (CHIKV), which reemerged in Africa and now circulates on all inhabited continents and is a major global health problem. ZIKV has been found in Colombia and is likely following the path of CHIKV, which reached the country in August 2014 (6). The virus co-circulates with other Ae. aegypti–transmitted arboviruses, including dengue virus (DENV) and yellow fever virus. We report ZIKV infection in Colombia and a recent ongoing outbreak in Sincelejo, Colombia, with resulting illness characterized by maculopapular rash, fever, myalgia/arthralgia, and conjunctivitis.

During October–November 2015, a total of 22 patients received a presumptive diagnosis of an acute viral illness by emergency department physicians at the Centro de Diagnostico Medico-Universidad de Sucre in Sincelejo. The patients began treatment for a dengue-like illness, and blood samples were obtained for diagnosis. The samples were analyzed at the Universidad de Sucre by using reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) to detect DENV, CHIKV, or ZIKV. Viral RNA was extracted from the serum samples by using the ZR Viral RNA Kit (Zymo Research, Irvine, CA, USA); reverse transcription was performed by using the Protoscript First Strand cDNA Synthesis Kit (New England Biolabs, Ipswich, MA, USA). Amplicons were produced by using the OneTaq Quick-Load 2X Master Mix (New England Biolabs) with primers specific to DENV (7), CHIKV (forward: 5′-CGCCAACATTCTGCTTACAC-3′; reverse: 5′-AGGATGCCGGTCATTTGAT-3′), and ZIKV. The CHIKV amplification target was 649 bp of nonstructural protein 1 (NS1). A positive PCR for a partial region of the envelope (E) gene with primers ZIKVENVF and ZIKVENVR (8) was considered indicative of ZIKV infection. ZIKV primers specific for the E gene and NS1 were designed and used to amplify the E gene and NS1 for phylogenetic analyses, and amplicons were produced by using the OneTaq One-Step RT-PCR Kit (New England Biolabs). E gene and NS1 PCR products were sequenced at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Biotechnology Center (Madison, WI, USA).

Thumbnail of Majority-rule consensus tree based on Zika virus envelope and nonstructural protein 1 gene sequences (2,604 nt) of isolates from patients in Sincelejo, Colombia, October–November 2015, compared with reference isolates. The tree was constructed on the basis of Bayesian phylogenetic analysis with 8 million generations and a general time-reversible substitution model using MrBayes software version 3.2 (http://mrbayes.sourceforge.net). Numbers to the right of nodes represent posterior p

Samples from all patients were negative by RT-PCR for DENV and CHIKV; samples from 9 (41%) patients were positive for ZIKV. Among those 9 patients, 7 (78%) were male; median age was 23; and none had a history of international travel. ZIKV was analyzed by sequencing the E gene and NS1 of 2 isolates. Phylogenetic analyses rooted with Spondweni virus showed that the ZIKV sequences belonged to the Asian lineage (Figure) and were closely related to strains isolated during the 2015 outbreak in Brazil (5). The sequences also showed 99% identity with sequences from a ZIKV isolate from French Polynesia (GenBank accession no. KJ776791) (9). These data suggest that ZIKV circulating in Colombia could have been imported from Brazil, most likely as a result of tourism activities on Colombia’s northern coast, where the first reported case was identified (the state of Bolivar).

We report ZIKV infection in Colombia in association with an ongoing outbreak of acute maculoexantematic illness. Since detection of ZIKV in Sincelejo, a total of 13,500 cases have been identified in 28 of the country’s 32 territorial entities (10), all of which have abundant populations of Ae. aegypti mosquitoes and co-circulation of DENV and CHIKV. These circumstances highlight the need for accurate laboratory diagnostics and suggest that monitoring whether the virus spreads into neighboring countries (e.g., Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and Panama) is imperative.

Erwin Camacho, Margaret Paternina-Gomez, Pedro J. Blanco, Jorge E. Osorio, and Matthew T. AliotaComments to Author
Author affiliations: University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA (E. Camacho, J.E. Osorio, M.T. Aliota); Universidad de Sucre, Sincelejo, Colombia (M. Paternina-Gomez, P.J. Blanco)

Read more: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/22/5/16-0023_article

It is true that Aedes Aegypti, the mosquito which carries Zika, lives in tropical and subtropical regions. Global warming, if it occurs, might increase the range of Aegypti. But there are close relatives of Aegypti, such as Aedes Albopictus, which might be just as dangerous. Albopictus has a much greater range than Aegypti, but carries similar viral diseases to Aegypti. I don’t know whether Albopictus can carry Zika, but this has to be considered as a significant possibility.

Albopictus is currently spreading through temperate zones in Europe, and has been detected as far North as Germany.

Even if it turns out only Aegypti can carry Zika, I doubt the most efficient response to dangerous mosquito borne diseases is to build a few wind turbines.

A good start to controlling mosquito borne diseases, might be to remove the pointless bureaucratic obstacles to spraying DDT, one of the most effective anti-mosquito chemicals ever developed.

Use of DDT was almost outlawed after vigorous scare campaigns by green groups, but this much maligned chemical is harmless to humans. Professor Kenneth Mellanby, who campaigned for the use of DDT in the 1940s, used to eat a substantial pinch of concentrated DDT as part of his demonstration. Mellanby did not suffer any health problems from his massive consumption of DDT – he died in 1993, at the age of 85 years.

Part of the reason DDT was and is so popular in the third world, is DDT is very easy to produce, a simple one step reaction any backyard lab could perform. With a few litres of precursor chemicals, an amateur laboratory could produce enough DDT for thousands of treatments. I suspect if authorities don’t remove bureaucratic obstacles to DDT use, people in Zika affected regions might start cooking their own.

165 thoughts on “Zika and Climate

    • Will strike. But the Popperish question is when, where, how much exactly. A prediction. CAGW framework is good for scaring but not good for predicting.

    • You can thank the MSM for the Zika scare. Dengue is a real problem. Dengue is actually four viruses. I believe that Dengue2 is the worst. If you are infected with one type, you will be sick. If you get a second type, you have resistance to the first infection but the second infection will be worse. Dengue hemmorragic fever kills. That makes a vaccine difficult. Sanofi-Pasteur has a vaccine approved in three countries. The vaccine does help, but is far from perfect due to Dengue2. There is not much protection for Dengue2. Brazil, Mexico, and the Philippines are the countries that have approved the Sanofi vaccine as they may benefit. Thailand has a problem with Dengue2. The U. of NC may be on to a solution. There is also a company in Ma. that thinks they may have the problem solved and has licensed a company in Singapore to do clinical studies and produce a vaccine. Population density is part of the problem. A mosquito bites an infected person, then bites a another person, the disease spreads. Bangkok is having a problem because of the population density. Dengue may well be the real killer.

  1. The link between the virus and birth defects seems just as tenuous as the link between global warming and the virus. The virus was first discovered over 60 years ago and up until now it was known for only mild symptoms affecting less than 1 in 4 who contracted it.
    It is possible there is a cover up going on for something more sinister. What that might be, we will have to wait and see.

    • You mean like West Vile Nyrus? Mad Cow, SARS, Bird Flu, Anthrax . . . Zika only became a “problem” when a rich chick from the USA caught it in a slow news week. Could easily have been handled with a travel advisory for pregnant women.

      • Anthrax became an issue due to a rich chick from the USA? I could have sworn it was around long before there was a USA.

        BTW, on a mostly unrelated topic, The Ice Man, Otzi, was infected with the Lyme disease bacterium. I don’t don’t know if it produced serious problems back then, but I amazed to hear the bacterium has been in the human population a lot longer than I expected.

      • Ric, Goldrider is saying that most of these “epidemics” only become “news” in the US when someone from the US contracts these diseases. Most of them have been around long before there was a USA, but the UN claps it’s hands and suddenly there’s a “new” horror being introduced AND blamed on climate change or capitalism or something else that can be pinned on the US somehow…

      • About 95% of the US population has been bit by a mosquito carrying the west nile virus. People coming down with the illness is only a small fraction of those being bit.

    • I understand that the last great scientific breakthrough was the release of millions of GMd mosquitoes which were going to rid the world of dengue and malaria through interbreeding. Did something go disasterously wrong? I think we should be told.

    • No, The linkage appears certain. This is not about the dishonest climate Trillion$$ wealth redistribution scam.

      This is about the health and welfare of families.
      Serious stuff. The stuff that shapes humanity.

      I studied Hep C virus for years as a grad student. Published a “side” paper on Interferon A therapy on HepC patients. Flaviviruses can do anything from nothing to birth defects, destroy your liver, neurological syndromes such as Japanese Encephalitis Virus, to tick-borne diseases.

      Joel O’Bryan, PhD in human viral immunology.

      • Actually, Zika does have a healthy whiff of dishonesty about it.

        Only a small number of the 4,000 babies who’ve died in Brazil had the Zika virus.

        This means a large number of the babies who died had no Zika in their brain.

        Which means the Zika cases were coincidental.

        From the BBC:
        “Zika is generally mild and only causes symptoms in one in five people. It is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also spreads dengue and chikungunya. The virus has been known about since before 1948 and has never been known to cause birth defects.”

        If not Zika, what?

        Brazil made a new Tdap shot mandatory at the beginning of 2015. The shots coincide perfectly with the 4,000 newborns born with the defect. ALL MOTHERS WITH DEFORMED BABIES GOT THE NEWLY FORMULATED TDAP SHOT WHILE PREGNANT.

        The fact the papers and the electronic cyclops aka the idiot box aka TV are scamming Zika as the culprit implies, by omission, no one like the World “Health” Organization or the Gates and Rockefeller foundations or the bankers that own The City and the UN and the world’s money and media outlets or anyone in the “new world order” that’s on record as wanting to reduce earth’s population by four-fifths so they can have the planet’s resources for themselves, and who seek to develop passive, stupid, propaganda (MSM) addled, subservient Goyim to work for them while they live out their lives scrumptiously on a depopulated planet, had anything to do with the Brazilian Tdap jab/experiment.

        No, nothing of that sort here. Move along now. We have a population to vaccinate.
        ****
        Zika freakout: the hoax and the covert op continue
        https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/zika-freakout-the-hoax-and-the-covert-op-continue/

        Is the dreaded Zika virus another giant scam?
        https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/is-the-dreaded-zika-virus-another-giant-scam/

        Brazilians not buying Zika excuse for babies with shrunken brains
        http://theunhivedmind.com/wordpress3/brazilians-not-buying-zika-excuse-for-babies-with-shrunken-brains/

      • Really Joel? “The linkage appears certain?” I can only assume that is your own personal opinion because it does not reflect the opinions of the people who are actually working on or with the virus. (bold mine)

        “The data to provide evidence linking the relatively mild mosquito-borne disease and babies born with small heads and potential brain damage, however, are not yet conclusive.”

        “Although the Brazilian government has said there are almost 4,000 cases of microcephaly in the country, only six of the cases have been strongly linked to Zika virus via laboratory testing that confirms genetic material from the virus is present in the infant, Claudio Maierovitch, director of the Department of Communicable Disease Surveillance in Brazil’s Ministry of Health told the WHO today in Geneva.”

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-would-it-take-to-prove-the-zika-microcephaly-link1/

      • Wussr- where did you find anything that says that ANY of the 4,000 babies born in Brazil with microcephaly DIED? Much less all 4,000 of them???

      • the brazilian ministry of health finds no certain linkage:
        http://combateaedes.saude.gov.br/noticias/244-ministerio-da-saude-investiga-3-448-casos-suspeitos-de-microcefalia
        neither do they find any 4000 cases of microcephaly.

        3.448 casos suspeitos de microcefalia em todo o país
        270 casos já tiveram confirmação de microcefalia
        6 com relação ao vírus Zika

        270 confirmed cases of microcephaly
        6 confirmed cases of a microcephalic with zika
        so clearly, microcephaly causes mosquito bites
        and there must be laws against pregnancy

    • http://recombinomics.co/topic/287-zika-virus-microcephaly-tip-of-the-iceberg-ultrasound-obgyn/

      It is difficult to explain why there have been no fetal cases of Zika virus infection reported until now but this may be due to the underreporting of cases, possible early acquisition of immunity in endemic areas or due to the rarity of the disease until now. As genomic changes in the virus have been reported[6], the possibility of a new, more virulent, strain needs to be considered. Until more cases are diagnosed and histopathological proof is obtained, the possibility of other etiologies cannot be ruled out.
      ===========
      and then?
      theres the issue of the DTAP vaccine being given TO Pregnant women there..when it was NEVER tested for pregnant women or fetal problems, and it was fairly recent decision to do so. in the prebirth for most of these new cases of microcephaly.
      =============
      as for the safety of DTT.. wtf?
      its an organophosphate its as absorbable via OUR skin as a bugs
      and they KNOW it causes neuro toxicity issues, it IS a listed effect

      ok really careful limited dosage if they have no other option but wholesale spraying is insane! how many NONtarget bugs die and are eaten by birds etc..
      the Pro DDT lobby here has always amazed me..its a Bloody toxic chem its EX Mil neuro-warfare development it didnt work fast enough in war ,so they found another use

  2. DDT is no magic bullet here. Resistance to DDT was a big problem well before it was banned. Here is a 1960 paper on development of resistance by this same mosquito Aedes Aegypti.

      • It won’t buy much time. Here’s another 1961 article from NIH. It begins:
        “DDT-resistant populations of Aides aegypti are now of frequent occurrence in the Caribbean region (Brown, 1960), but they are characteristically still susceptible to y-BHC or dieldrin. However, Fox has recently discovered a DDT-resistant population at Isla Verde airport, near San Juan, Puerto Rico, that is also highly resistant to dieldrin. “

        Resistance builds up when you place a lot of pressure on the population. Your link says
        “The report says the insecticide has been used cautiously in recent years, ”with targeted spraying only in high risk areas”.

        Used as a main weapon, DDT resistance will quickly rise again.

      • The South African article suggests DDT has cut Malaria by 85% over a decade, due to the devastating impact DDT has on mosquito population. That makes it worth trying, in my book.

      • Nick Stokes-“Used as a main weapon, DDT resistance will quickly rise again.”

        Well then, that’s that. People are going to have to die because we simply cannot have that DDT resistance thing rise again.

      • Aphan

        However, no mosquito killed by DDT has ever reproduced.
        No mosquito killed by DDT has ever spread inflection to an innocent life.

        And no lab test has ever shown the ability of mosquito to “develop DDT resistance” … In the lab, the mosquitoes die. They don’t evolve.

      • “I was being really, really sarcastic with Nick”
        But pointlessly. DDT resistance simply makes DDT ineffective for purpose. It’s not a theoretical problem. Here is a 2003 paper from Brazil:
        “At present, the only method of controlling or preventing dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) is to combat the vector mosquitoes. Thus insecticide resistance represents a threat for the efficacy of vector control. Aedes aegypti is resistant to DDT in almost every part of the world in which this species is present, except some African countries.”

      • Worrying about eventual resistance to DDT is a bit like not using non-renewable resources now because one day they will run out. (Bismarck said going to war for fear of war was like suiciding for fear of death. He could have been referring to modern Green Logic.)

      • Nick Stokes January 29, 2016 at 10:24 pm
        DDT resistance simply makes DDT ineffective for purpose.
        If used incorrectly. Just like antibiotics if any bacteria is left alive because of incorrect dose level or uncompleted treatment Resistance occurs.

        michael

      • 1) DDT use to control insect vectors is legal in both the USA and all signatories to the 2004 Stockholm Convention (which most countries are members). Permits are needed and granted; it was never banned for this use in the USA nor most of the world. The advantage and disadvantage to DDT is it’s persistence. Using it indoors takes advantage of that persistance, broadcast spraying the disadvantages.

        2) It takes only 25 generations (as demonstrated by lab studies see David Pimentel) to develop resistance to DDT in a population or any other pesticide once the mutation to detoxify has occurred. This mutation has been spread all over the world by the constant introduction of foreign Stegomyia (Aedes) species. In the tropics, 25 generations is about 2 years. In temperate zones, the life cycle is longer, so resistance takes longer. The more of the population is killed by DDT, the quicker the resistance will appear and it ALWAYS appears. No way will you get decades of use, and it does not “work” on many populations in Africa either. In many places since it does not actually kill, its only remaining use is to irritate the adult females so they are less likely to rest inside houses.

        3) Many populations are already immune to DDT because those populations have been exposed to it frequently. Bedbugs are also immune to DDT. Populations in the USA became resistant during it’s use for control of Malaria, so draining standing water, window screens, as well as insecticides finished the job since DDT would not work alone. http://mosquito.ifas.ufl.edu/Florida_Mosquito_Control.htm

        4) There are plenty of more effective insecticides and practices already in use that work fine where public health systems are functional.

        5) There are what used to be Aedes now Stegomyia etc species in all USA states and they are found all over the world. It is likely that most or all of these species can be vectors of these viral disease, but we will have to wait to find out.

      • “Worrying about eventual resistance to DDT”
        According to that Brazilian paper, there is nothing eventual about it. They are resistant now.

        “If used incorrectly.”
        This is not a medical dosage problem. You can’t in one spraying campaign kill every mosquito.

      • Nick, YOU said “Used as a main weapon, DDT resistance will quickly rise again.”

        This indicates that you accept that NOT using DDT as a man weapon causes DDT resistance to drop. If that is indeed the case, then using it periodically to save people’s lives seems to be at least a last ditch effort worth engaging in, OR, as I said sarcastically- “Well then, that’s that. People are going to have to die because we simply cannot have that DDT resistance thing rise again.”

        Now if you don’t believe that NOT using DDT as a main weapon causes DDT resistance to drop, all you have to do is say that and admit that what you said previously could be easily mistaken for the opposite of what you MEANT.

      • “… DDT is still a popular pesticide in Africa, because it works.”
        Copulating with a virgin is a popular remedy for HIV in Africa. Not because it works. ;-)

  3. How about the West Nile Virus…. Ain’t nuthing to do with Climate….
    CDC sees no evidence of bioterrorism in spread of West Nile virus……

    “In October 1999, the New Yorker magazine published an article describing claims by an alleged Iraqi defector that Saddam Hussein was planning to use West Nile virus as a weapon. The article, by Richard Preston, said bioweapons experts at the CIA had heard of the claim made in a book by the alleged defector, who called himself Mikhael Ramadan, and they recalled the claim when West Nile virus was identified in New York City in September 1999. Ramadan’s book, as quoted in Preston’s article, said Hussein had boasted that his scientists would develop a strain of West Nile virus “capable of destroying 97 percent of all life in an urban environment.” (The fatality rate for West Nile is far below 97%.)
    http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2002/09/cdc-sees-no-evidence-bioterrorism-spread-west-nile-virus
    Maybe there is a case for planting the bug here…
    IS WEST NILE VIRUS SADDAM’S REVENGE?
    http://www.wnd.com/2004/05/24755/

  4. One of my teachers was Professor Emmens who was reputed to have assisted in the clearing of Malaria in Italy after the end of WW2 by the use of DDT.
    He saved many.
    Filovirus is a very nasty thing and everything that can be done to control its spread, especially in Africa should be tried.
    The local Africans are immune to the milder strains but visitors fall a victim.
    This virus appears to have entered a happy hunting ground in South America with no widespread natural immunity.
    The production of a vaccine is vital as well as mozzie control.
    It is clearly an introduced pest, so will spread easily in a humid warm habitat with the abundant mozzies already present.
    As for Climate Change, like death and taxes, it is always with us.
    We need to adapt to it by using vaccine and mozzie controls,such as flooding areas with sterile males.

    • ENVIRONMENTAL FATE
      Breakdown in Soil and Groundwater
      DDT is very highly persistent in the environment, with a reported half life of between 2-15 years (15, 16) and is immobile in most soils. Routes of loss and degradation include runoff, volatilization, photolysis and biodegradation (aerobic and anaerobic) (3). These processes generally occur only very slowly. Breakdown products in the soil environment are DDE and DDD, which are also highly persistent and have similar chemical and physical properties (12, 16).

      Due to its extremely low solubility in water, DDT will be retained to a greater degree by soils and soil fractions with higher proportions of soil organic matter (12). It may accumulate in the top soil layer in situations where heavy applications are (or were) made annually; e.g., for apples (2). Generally DDT is tightly sorbed by soil organic matter, but it (along with its metabolites) has been detected in many locations in soil and groundwater where it may be available to organisms (12, 15). This is probably due to its high persistence; although it is immobile or only very slightly mobile, over very long periods of time it may be able to eventually leach into groundwater, especially in soils with little soil organic matter.

      Residues at the surface of the soil are much more likely to be broken down or otherwise dissipated than those below several inches (14). Studies in Arizona have shown that volatilization losses may be significant and rapid in soils with very low organic matter content (desert soils) and high irradiance of sunlight, with volatilization losses reported as high as 50% in 5 months (17). In other soils (Hood River and Medford) this rate may be as low as 17- 18% over 5 years (17). Volatilization loss will vary with the amount of DDT applied, proportion of soil organic matter, proximity to soil-air interface and the amount of sunlight (12).
      Breakdown of Chemical in Surface Water
      DDT may reach surface waters primarily by runoff, atmospheric transport, drift, or by direct application (e.g. to control mosquito-borne malaria) (3). The reported half-life for DDT in the water environment is 56 days in lake water and approximately 28 days in river water (15). The main pathways for loss are volatilization, photodegradation, adsorption to water-borne particulates and sedimentation (3). Aquatic organisms, as noted above, also readily take up and store DDT and its metabolites. Field and laboratory studies in the United Kingdom demonstrated that very little breakdown of DDT occurred in estuary sediments over the course of 46 days (12).

      frankly
      the option for using DDT madly as they probably will..for a NON event like Zika really is..is stupid.

  5. “…babies [afflicted with] microencephaly, or abnormally small brains.”
    ————
    Baby liberals!

  6. That is, if it really is a virus and not another facile political/economic distraction like the CAGW noise:

    http://www.sott.net/article/311205-The-Zika-freakout-Is-there-more-to-this-virus-scare-than-meets-the-eye

    There may be a virus involved, but look at all the other potential co-factors — credibly harmful every one.

    “Science” is such a great medium for cultural and social engineering, especially in a population already in endocrine exhaustion from fear-mongery and hysteria. This is compounded by the tendency to batten onto single-cause explanations. The pre-complexity paradigm is so entrenched…

  7. So when 19th Century travellers brought back ‘shrunken heads’ as gruesome souvenirs……what was shrinking them back then?

    • DDT is very dangerous, to mosquitoes. The fact that we were lied to, such that DDT could be banned, has turned full circle and stung us in the arse. It’s time for spraying.

      • To mention an analogy of something that was once feared very harmful, but has since been discovered to be no danger at all, I would point to salt, and the exhaustive study that proved beyond almost all doubt that salt has no affect on blood pressure for 99.9% of people.
        In fact, the study found that those with lowest salt/sodium intake had higher average blood pressure than those that consumed the most.
        And other investigators have shown quite conclusively that the entire “avoid salt/sodium” meme was based on exactly ZERO research or empirical evidence! One guy started it all and everyone else just repeated it without question and it took on a life of it’s own as a “known thing”!
        So, what was the response of the well known medical association which concerns itself with such matters, and helped organize the study to begin with? They refused to change their recommendation that people, especially those with high blood pressure, avoid salt!

        Reminds me of NASA and some expensive satellites and the data they give.

        Once people have it in their heads that something is dangerous, good luck getting them to change their minds.
        Radiation example comes to mind. Lots of it can kill you…a little bit, not so much.
        Ditto chorine. Figures that some group wants to blame chlorine for everything and ban it. Ban an element!
        The one which may have saved more lives and extended health of more people than any other in history.

        Wait, what was I talking about…

  8. So the warmists want to blame CO2 with encouraging those mosquitos? I hope when this is accepted as tripe, and global cooling really sets in, CO2 will be credited with reducing the risk of Zika. Pigs might fly!

  9. People help spread the virus after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Then, another mosquito becomes when they bite the now infected human. It all brings into sharp focus our porous southern border.

    The maps noted on the news where Zika dominates show that Mexico is a good place to get the Zika virus.. So, how do we keep infected humans from crossing our southern border and infecting our home-grown mosquitos?

  10. Ok, a change in climate may lead to spread of disease. Lots of things may happen, some more likely than others.

    In what way has the climate changed over say the last 30 years where this outbreak was located?

  11. If Zika produces only mild symptoms in children, it seems to me that plausible outcome is that it becomes another disease of childhood and that by the time females approach their child bearing years that they will be protected by their own antibodies.

  12. “Use of DDT was almost outlawed after vigorous scare campaigns by green groups, but this much maligned chemical is harmless to humans.”

    We were just discussing DDT I’m my science class yesterday, and we learned that it is dangerous to birds, fish, as well as insects. Is this true? I mean, my teacher is an AGW skeptic (she has a master’s degree in paleoclimatology as well), but even she agrees that DDT is dangerous (as far as I know). How accurate is that idea that DDT has many detrimental environmental impacts?

    I’m not gonna lie, I’m not by any means “experienced” in this subject (I’m only a sophomore in high school), but Im certainly smart enough to look at both sides of the debate. Hell, I used to be an AGW alarmist until I found this website. But as of now, I’m not sure what position to take about the use of DDT. Can I get some of your opinions?

    • AJ,
      I have no special knowledge about this but recall that DDT was used on cotton in the Lower Mississippi Valley. Cotton buds and flowers were damaged by the boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) and so DDT was used to kill the weevils. It is toxic to insects.
      The chemical entered the food chain and had the unintended consequence of thinning bird eggs. These thin eggs crushed very easily and the bird population dropped. The Brown Pelican being the signature bird. The use of DDT was banned in 1972 and (with, I think, transfers from Florida) Pelicans have since recovered.
      Many people now wish to use it indoors and with nets to protect people. Seems to work, as far as I know, without great harm to the environment.
      Do a Bing or Google search with the “images” tag selected with the phrase (also, there are videos):
      ** ddt spraying community **

      • The accusation of DDT killing birds by thinning their eggshells is the most common charge against this insecticide.

        But is not established by laboratory data – except when massive overdoses are used – much like the 1000x doses used by opponents on rats to show that cancer will be caused by this chemical ____ (fill in the blank of overdosed chemical.)

        Eagle (and similar higher predatory birds, eating fish which are claimed to have been feeding on (dead ?) mosquitoes killed by DDT) are the species I have heard of most often. Pelicans? Possible – they are also marine predators. But the evidence is based on selective “bird nest studies” not able to be duplicated independently of the opponents to DDT who are claiming the losses.

    • RACookPE1978 January 29, 2016 at 9:40 pm
      AJ asked a question. No one answered.
      I, with “no special knowledge” presented simple statements regarding the issue. Those things being that DDT was widely used (even sprayed directly on children), was thought to decrease bird populations (especially Brown Pelicans), and so on.
      AJ’s question indicated interest in a subject and I provided enough key-words to help in further research.
      If you, or anyone else, finds my answer wanting … well, have a real go at it.

    • A lot of pesticides that are nasty to their targets have little impacts on animals with livers. Livers aren’t perfect (as dogs that drink ethylene glycol antifreeze discover), but they’re one of the great products of evolution and detoxify and help digest all sorts of stuff.

      Don’t leave home without one!

  13. Does the quote below sound like it describes Climate Change Crusaders?

    “Those who fail in everyday affairs show a tendency to reach out for the impossible. It is a device to camouflage their shortcomings. For when we fail in attempting the possible, the blame is solely ours; but when we fail in attempting the impossible, we are justified in attributing it to the magnitude of the task. There is less risk in being discredited when trying the impossible than when trying the possible. It is thus that failure in everyday affairs often breeds an extravagant audacity.”

    – Eric Hoffer
    The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (1951)

    • But enough weasel words to defend yourself when it’s proven untrue, but visually skipped over by 97% of readers, who only see the radical claim and believe it.

  14. Have also seen the Zika virus blamed on GMO mosquitoes. If someone has a grindstone, Zika can be the ax.

    • Oh my, I take it back – they created a GM breed of mosquitoes which can only thrive near humans, where they get access to the tetracycline antibiotic waste used on farm animals, which during GM development was chosen to suppress the lethality of their GM time bomb. So massive selection pressure to spend more time near people. What a bunch of geniuses.

      • Eric, you only took information from a biased website, you didn’t investigate any other positions on it.

        Those mosquitoes existed prior to being GM’d. They simply tried to keep that species’s offspring from surviving. By modifying the mosquitoes, they did NOT increase the spread of zika or anything else, they tried to hold it BACK. Even if some of their offspring DID survive due to exposure to tetracycline, there were LESS OF those offspring due to the fact that some of them DID NOT survive.

        Had the mosquitoes NOT been modified, NONE of their offspring would have died, and ALL of them would have had the potential to carry the disease to humans. As the researchers state here:

        “We are not putting an advantage into these mosquitoes; we are putting in a disadvantage, sterility, which is the biggest disadvantage you can have,” Parry said. “You are not spreading your gene down generations because each one is sterile – it dies out. They do not out cross and mate with other species. So you are not spreading your gene laterally or downward.” –

        See more at: http://www.healthmap.org/site/diseasedaily/article/brazil-rolls-out-gm-mosquito-farms-71812#sthash.MwZ9ULqA.dpuf

      • I support GM pest eradication Alphan – I live on the edge of the tropics, I hate mosquitoes. But the article paints what appears to be a plausible picture of how the GM programme might have malfunctioned. Is it correct? I have no idea, and as you say, I haven’t investigated further. I will do so time permitting.

      • Eric-“I support GM pest eradication Alphan – I live on the edge of the tropics, I hate mosquitoes.”
        Everyone does.

        “But the article paints what appears to be a plausible picture of how the GM programme might have malfunctioned. Is it correct?”

        Malfunctioned? I guess we’d have to agree upon how we’re defining a malfunction. It might not have destroyed 90% of that mosquito population because some of the larvae had access to tetracycline-and thus LIVED- but even if it destroyed 20% of that mosquito population, I’d call that GOOD rather than bad.

        People are all up in arms because they hear the words Genetically Modified and automatically assume that it means MUTANT or MONSTER, when it doesn’t. People were freaking out about these GM mosquitoes passing on mutant genes or whatever and the researchers pointed out that STERILE mosquitoes cannot pass on genes to their offspring, because sterile creatures DO NOT HAVE offspring.

        “I have no idea, and as you say, I haven’t investigated further. I will do so time permitting.”
        You’re a well respected author here and I guess I just didn’t want anyone to think that you HAD investigated it thoroughly and were making an informed statement about it. I appreciate your response. :)

  15. “Even if it turns out only Aegypti can carry Zika, I doubt the most efficient response to dangerous mosquito borne diseases is to build a few wind turbines.”

    But, once the wind turbines get done chopping up all the birds, maybe they will turn their attention to the ‘skeeters, and get to chopping on them!

    • There’ll be more mosquitoes because those vapid tasteless temples to environmentalism that we call wind turbines unfortunately also chop up bats which happen to be efficient mosquito carnivores.

  16. “Regions with increasing average temperatures are at increased risk of mosquito-borne diseases, as mosquitoes thrive in and move to warmer regions,” says Armstrong.

    I suspect we will see travel advisories posted for arctic regions soon.

    • Summer in Alaska and trade your shirt for a mosquito shirt, because they will be that thick on your hide.

    • Perhaps Mr. Armstrong would like to have a conversation with a Caribou sometime. If he could talk Caribou talk the Caribou in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (which is called the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve because it so happens to be in the Arctic) would inform him that the mosquitoes there are so ferocious that they literally can take up to half a pint of blood out of each of them on a daily basis. This actually happens to be more blood than lawyers take out of us on a daily basis. Now, Mr. Armstrong should genuinely try to learn Caribou talk since those chit chats might educate him enough to cease making stupid statements about warming weather leading to an abundance of blood sucking mosquitoes. And, he might actually learn that warm tropical climates, if they increase contagious bloodsuckers, it’s bloodsuckers in the form of NGO participants, government delegates, Michael Mann, IPCC types, and … lawyers.

    • Yes, if people believe mosquitoes only live in warm areas should hike the Rocky Mountains to some of the lakes there. Or the rolling plains of eastern Wyoming in summer. I once drove through a small valley in Woming and the cloud of mosquitoes was so thick it resembled a dense fog.

      • Mosquitoes will breed in any place where the temperatures are even slightly moderate and there is standing water. I live nowhere NEAR the tropics and I have to shock the water in my outdoor fountain several times a year to keep them at bay near my house.

      • Quite some years ago a publican near the west side of Heathrow got Malaria. Mossy in suitcase belonging to aircrew apparently? Of course we don’ know if it was a return bout.

        Anyway, thermometers at Heathrow contribute to UK Met office warming scares.

    • Perhaps that’s because it makes perfect sense that a creature that thrives in warmth will do better in a warming world. I dunno …. just saying.

      • http://www.megacatch.com/mosquitofacts.html

        Warming world? Mosquitoes can live in a wide range of temperatures, they just prefer warm areas. But they also need water, nectar and protein to survive, so even if it warms, if those things aren’t also increasingly available to them, they won’t thrive.

        The supposed AVERAGE temperature of the world has risen 0.8C over the past 150 years. That doesn’t mean that it suddenly got warm enough to support mosquitoes in some place where it wasn’t warm enough to support them before.

    • Aphan

      Fair enough …. so places where it was cooler before, but warmer now, that have nectar, protein and water…. are at greater risk to the spread of this bug. I’d say that is something to watch wouldn’t you?

  17. The climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans and Mankind does not have the power to alter it. So if current climate change is responsible for Zika spreading then Zitka will spread and we do not have the power to stop it.

  18. The link drawn by the CDC between Zika virus infection and microcephaly appears highly fanciful and I wonder to what extent it may be misreported.
    Microcephaly, including congenital microcephaly, is not a rare condition- it cannot be. The Microcephaly is defined by head size compared with the normal population distribution of head sizes. The threshold is at 2 standard deviations below the mean, so 2.3% of the population are expected to be microcephalic.
    I expect that the reports from Brazil of microcephaly at birth must be for a peculiar and rarer syndromic form and probably at -3SD or -4SD, but that is not clearly stated- nor is the association with Zika virus infection.

    • something no one seems to have mentioned either is fetal alcohol syndrome
      smaller brains and sometimes head size as well..and a father whos an alcoholic is as possible to pass it onto a baby as an alcoholic mum as well.
      I still suspect the DTAP Vaccine as the most likely cause of the “outbreak”
      Zika has been around too long.

  19. If you have no principles as a political activist it doesn’t take you long to your activist bandwagon to any crisis. I remember that every bush fire we have had in Australia has been the fault of ‘climate change’, along with every snow storm in the Northern Hemisphere. Every war and now every virus. I guess there is nothing for which CO2, and hence western civilization, cannot be blamed.

  20. Here we have utter stupidity on display once again … as though the environment is a static, unchanging thing and only changes because of man’s actions. All diseases are always changing. A new virus could spring up next week seemingly out of nowhere, anywhere on the planet and in less than a decade have a devastating impact on the human race. All it takes is one genetic roll of the dice by any reproducing organism and mankind could find itself having its own extinction event.

  21. Didn’t Climate Change help bring on the great plague, the Black Death of 1346? Something called the Little Ice Age?

  22. and if a link is not established? we’re left with nothing but hype over a mild virus.

    28 Jan: WHO: WHO Director-General (Margaret Chan) briefs Executive Board on Zika situation
    A causal relationship between Zika virus infection and birth malformations and neurological syndromes HAS NOT YET BEEN ESTABLISHED, but is strongly suspected
    http://www.who.int/dg/speeches/2016/zika-situation/en/

  23. Any place where this mosquito would be a threat, probably should already have control programs in place for West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis.

  24. Substitute explanation depending on time and geographical location:
    All diseases and food shortages are caused by:
    1: Angry gods and only priests can save us.
    2: The activities of the America and CIA agents and only Stalin and Lysenko can save us.
    3. Capitalism causing evil carbon pollution a.k.a. Climate Change and only Michael Mann, Al Gore, David Suzuki, John Cook, Stephan Lewandowsky, Naomi Oreskes/Klein, Ban Ki Moon etc can save us.

    Misattribution of the factors which cause a problem can very often lead to solutions which are worse than the disease which they pretend to cure.
    “Every age has its peculiar folly: Some scheme, project, or fantasy into which it plunges, spurred on by the love of gain, the necessity of excitement, or the force of imitation.” Charles Mackay, 1841.

  25. Advertising companies love the words , could , might , possibly,

    It doesn’t have to be true , just implies.

    Carlsberg probably the best beer in the world, nowhere near but cannot tell them to remove that implication.

  26. every one should watch.

    I’ll second that, Russell. The corruption of the science in this particular field by IPCC bandits is laid bare.

    • Charlie : The bad thing Government do to our lives; The US Government promoted smoking cigarettes, knowingly from 1940 through1980’s ; that it was the leading cause of cancer and death from cancer. It causes cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, cervix, colon, and rectum, as well as acute myeloid leukemia. They covered this up by blaming Cholesterol i.e. saturated fat. This Cover up is well over 50 years old, and still goes on today. The greatest type 2 diabetes epidemic of today, leading to most if not all chronic illness. This lipid hypothesis has no scientific proof they just keep on lying.

  27. Seems the “Experts” don’t know that it originated in Africa. Or more likely, who cares about the truth, we just want a scary headline.

      • Simon said “Fair enough …. so places where it was cooler before, but warmer now, that have nectar, protein and water…. are at greater risk to the spread of this bug. I’d say that is something to watch wouldn’t you?”

        As per the article, at 50 degrees F they shut down or go into hibernation. So, for example, where I live, they aren’t active until it’s over 50F, and the warmer it gets the more active they become. They like it over 80F. But there’s a 30 degree difference between the two. So, technically, ANY place on the planet that gets over 50F during the year, and where there is water, nectar and protein, is going to have mosquitoes. Whether it has “warmed up” or not.

        This particular virus-“Zika” isn’t something that is genetic to mosquitoes. They have to contract it from a human, and then they have to bite, or transfer it, to another human. Almost every place on the planet has mosquitoes, and cooling the planet back down an “average” of 0.8 degrees wouldn’t kill them all off either. You’re being silly.

      • Why is it “scary”? There is ZERO evidence to support the claim that Zika causes birth defects of any kind, and the virus itself is fairly mild and doesn’t kill people like Malaria or Dengue fever does. If getting sick from mosquitoes was terrifying, no one would ever travel anywhere. But they do.

        “Travelers frequently contract diseases, from malaria to measles, while abroad. The CDC diagnosed 14 returning travelers with Zika from 2007 to 2014. None of these cases sparked Zika outbreaks.”

        “…most people infected with Zika clear the virus from their blood in less than a week. Mosquitoes can only become infected with the virus if they bite someone during that short window of time.”

        —1 in 5 people exposed to Zika become ill. (20%) Symptoms are mild and last about a week and can include, rash, fever, pink eye, and join pain. (So basically a FLU like illness.)

        The birth defects have been “associated” with the Zika outbreak in Brazil, but only 6 of the babies and their mothers (out of 4,000 children born with microcephaly) had Zika antibodies in their blood….so that simply cannot be the cause of the birth defects.

        http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/01/28/who-warns-zika-spread/79451430/

  28. Back in the 70s when I was in the forces,in central America we used to spray DDT every night at dusk.We had a colony of breeding Herons downwind and lots of Terrapins just outside the perimeter none seemed affected and all wildlife seemed to carry on regardless but mosquitos disappeared.Greens have a lot to answer for.

  29. Cooking my own DDT – now there’s a proposal. I’m sick and tired of the sleepless nights from the useless creatures & that is enough reason to start making my own plans.

  30. I am sure that people here hate it when the media pick out one extreme example, and then present it as “news”
    I listen to WBUR, Boston NPR on my morning drive; at 9am, they present an hour of live BBC news.
    The BBC announcer said, is zika related to climate change ?
    The BBC then presented about 20 sec of audio from an expert who said, basically, nah, really hard to see climate change/zika, but zika is in NE Brazil which is in a typical El Nino drought, so that might be related…
    so, WUWT is doing what you all hate: presenting a few silly media people as representative of anything other then, a lot of the media hypes stuff and is silly.

  31. DDT is currently allowed for mosquito control in all except a couple dozen countries, and the ones where it is not allowed are mostly ones without significant amounts of mosquito-borne disease. And the main reason for banning DDT either in those specific countries or for purposes other than mosquito control is not harm to humans, but harm to birds.

  32. For Climate ghouls, anything bad can be linked to “climate”. Increased bad hair days? Climate. Halitosis? Climate. Heartbreak of psoriasis? Climate. Surly waiters? Climate. Etc. etc.

  33. Isn’t a more workable hypothesis: ‘The CIA could introduce Zika Virus to a region it wishes to destroy…..’??

  34. Michael, HOW can genetically modified mosquitoes that DO NOT HAVE ZIKA, spread ZIKA????

    Think about it…..

    The GM MALE mosquitoes are not given ZIKA, are not bred with Zika…and not only do the males DIE soon after breeding, but they DO NOT BITE. And if ANY of their offspring does not survive (which is what the GMing was meant to do-and ANY dead mosquitoes is a GOOD thing) because they were somehow exposed to tetracycline and LIVED, then those offspring STILL don’t automatically have or get ZIKA!!!

  35. Oh…and Michael, only 6 of the 4,000 babies born with microcephaly had ANY “zika” markers in their blood…meaning only 6 of 4,000 mothers had been exposed to ZIKA!!!

  36. Diseases like this have emerged before and will continue to emerge in the future. “Think of it as evolution in action.” It’s enough to make you wish DDT had not been banned. In fact, it’s enough to make you hopping made DDT was banned. Every cent squandered on IPCC jaunts, plans for sea level rise that’s way beyond what’s likely to happen, &c &c, is a cent taken away from mosquito control, a serious here-and-now problem. But that’s OK, because it’s brown people dying. (savage /sarc)

  37. Climate change does not spread disease: humans do. We spread the vectors and we have, and, will spread diseases by global transportation.
    With the growth in transportation, tourism and migration perhaps we will have a world where we will see many diseases spread throughout the world in their optimum environmental ranges rather than area specific – e.g. yellow fever now established wherever monkeys live rather than being confined to Africa.
    Get used to a future world where you can catch most diseases in many places.
    A good background of disease spread is here- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3145127/

    Combatting climate change will not stop the spread of diseases as it is humans who spread it.

  38. The arrival of multiple brain disease in Braziliian newly born is now being linked BY ACTIVISTS (they claim) to the early 2015 commencement of a triple vaccine being administered to pregnant women.

  39. The task of the operational staff in fukushima was done by showing camerateams to Unit 4 with a hydrogen fire at 4th floor rooftop area.

    Work on the utility was done by some leasing workers.
    ____

    the task of Climate and Health Alliance Executive Director Fiona Armstrong is to utter speech, e.g. about

    health hazards associated with a warming world,

    in times of public interest.

    Regards – Hans

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