As fear mongering about the Zika epidemic runs rampant, separate organizations of doctors from Brazil and Argentina are directly challenging the notion that the Brazilian Zika virus outbreak is at the root of the recent increase in microcephaly birth defect cases.
After the dramatic increase in congenital malformations, the Brazilian Ministry of Health moved quickly to link the phenomena to the Zika virus epidemic. Microcephaly is a congenital condition in which a baby's head develops abnormally small.
In spite of all the media hype surrounding the mosquito-borne Zika virus and microcephaly, there has yet to be a scientific link proven between the two.
In a recent report by the Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns (PCST), the group revealed that the area in which most of the afflicted persons live had been sprayed with a larvicide known to cause birth defects.
The chemical, pyriproxyfen, was added to the state of Pernambuco's drinking-water reservoirs in 2014, by the Brazilian Ministry of Health, in an effort to stop the proliferation of the Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito.
In addition, to the report by PCST, in January 2016, the Brazilian Association for Collective Health (ABRASCO) published an open letter to the people of Brazil, questioning the linear analysis carried out by Brazil's Ministry of Health, which linked the emergent congenital malformations to Zika.
The group took issue with the ignoring of other factors that could have a direct influence on the problem and worked to minimize the fact that the widespread epidemic in the Pacific and the current epidemic in Colombia, resulted in no cases of malformations, much less microcephaly.
According to the report by PCST:
While there has been no shortage of theories as to the origin of the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been careful to not link microcephaly directly to Zika.
The WHO has officially declared Zika a global health 'emergency' and officials are carefully monitoring the rapid spread of the virus.
Scientists are currently racing to develop a vaccine...