…because it is appearing to be a virus in search of a disease…and perhaps a vaccine.  Nothing serves up a better medical version of “never letting a crisis go to waste” than some new, mysterious illness that seems to evoke billionAedes egyptis of dollars of federal aid overnight to the vaccine makers and their academic partners.  Although this virus certainly causes human illness, it does not appear to be either new nor as dangerous as the newsies would like it to be.In 2009 the respected journal Neurology  published a review of microcephaly (the maldeveloped brain thought to be caused by the Zika virus), and it is very clear that there are many causes:

Microcephaly may result from any insult that disturbs early brain growth and can be seen in association with hundreds of genetic syndromes. Annually, approximately 25,000 infants in the United States will be diagnosed with microcephaly (head circumference <-2 SD). Few data are available to inform evidence-based recommendations regarding diagnostic testing. The yield of neuroimaging ranges from 43% to 80%. Genetic etiologies have been reported in 15.5% to 53.3%. The prevalence of metabolic disorders is unknown but is estimated to be 1%. Children with severe microcephaly (head circumference <-3 SD) are more likely ( approximately 80%) to have imaging abnormalities and more severe developmental impairments than those with milder microcephaly (-2 to -3 SD; approximately 40%). Coexistent conditions include epilepsy ( approximately 40%), cerebral palsy ( approximately 20%), mental retardation ( approximately 50%), and ophthalmologic disorders ( approximately 20% to approximately 50%).

There is now some concern that all this fear and money (and bows in front of the camera) re the scourge of Zika might be very overblown.  In fact, the Zika prevalence in mosquitoes in Columbia is as bad as Brazil, but there has been no apparent microcephaly epidemic.  Where are all the maldeveloped brains?  A recent article in Science Daily poses this question legitimately.  We all know that under developed brains are common in  Washington.  Again, this provides fertile ground to continue with the incestuous relationship between government and Big Box medicine at the drop of a hat.

1 Comment on Zika may be just another Y2K…

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