WHO is Running the CDC Now? PBS and Bill Gates?
When Did the CDC Forget Their Job is Disease Control and Prevention?
The CDC is Negotiating a Near-Million Dollar Deal
With The Jim Henson Company: PBS's Sid the Science Kid
According to numerous media sources, the CDC is negotiating a near-million dollar deal with The Jim Henson Company to produce a cartoon featuring Sid the Science Kid warning preschoolers about Zika.
Yeah. Think about that for a minute.
Wouldn't that money be better spent on informing southeast Asia that the Culex genus of mosquitoes are also Zika vectors and throw some money their way?
And if you think that Culex quinquefasciatus and Culex pipiens are some obscure genus of mosquito, take a peek at their global range:
For Over a Year, Scientists Warned the WHO & CDC
About Culex Quinquefasciatus (Purple) and Culex Pipiens (Red)
Facts About Culex That the World Needs to Know
Culex transmit West Nile virus and St Louis encephalitis virus. And both Drs. Ayres and Hunter reminded everyone at the Zika Symposium at 2016 International Congress of Entomology that Zika is more related to the viruses transmitted by Culex.
Drs. Ayres and Hunter Presented Strong Evidence
Clearly, Zika is More Related to Culex-Associated Viruses
More Facts About Culex Everyone Needs to Know
"[Culex quinquefasciatus] is very common in the southeastern United States. These mosquitoes are also up in the trees, whereas the Aedes mosquito is down in the bushes during the day. So control measures that are targeted against Aedes aren’t going to effect the Culex and vice versa."
Brown said many people consider the two Culex mosquitoes [Culex quinquefasciatus and Culex pipiens] part of the same subspecies, however, and "there’s no pathogen that’s transmitted by just one and not by the other."
He added, "Culex is a harder mosquito to control (than Aedes). West Nile, once it got here, it went across the continent in three years."
A Handy Comparison Chart of Culex Versus Aedes
Culex Transmit Nematodes Which Emit Wolbachia
A Worrisome Combination? Wolbachia and Zika in Culex
I've covered the prospect that Zika could be working in tandem with Wolbachia (behaving like a bacteriophage) in previous articles.
The most alarming findings — which fell on the deaf ears of Dr. Aileen M. Marty — a member of WHO's Advisory Group on Mass Gatherings, Risk Assessments, Command & Control, EID (Emerging Infectious Diseases):
"Wolbachia enhanced rather than inhibited WNV [West Nile virus] infection."
And the study called Wolbachia Increases Susceptibility to Plasmodium Infection in a Natural System concluded:
Even Worse: Wolbachia and Zika in Bulbuls
Almost 1/2 of Little Greenbuls (Eurillas virens) had Zika
Bulbuls: Reservoir Hosts of ZIKV in Previous Outbreaks?
Almost 4,000 Miles: 6,366 km is Equal to 3,956 Miles
Red-Vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) in Sri Lanka
Lots of Cross-Breeding Occurs With Bulbuls
According to the study Red-whiskered Bulbul: are trapping and unsustainable avicultural practices pushing this species towards extinction in Thailand? by Techachoochert and Round, 2013:
Most Thai provinces have Red-whiskered Bulbul clubs. There are over 100 clubs nationwide (K. Dumnoen pers. comm. July 2013).
"One of these clubs claims more than 50,000 members, each of whom was estimated by the club's director to own at least 5–10 birds, with some having 30 or more birds. The Thai captive population of Red-whiskered Bulbuls therefore now probably numbers in the millions."
There is also "widespread practice of cross-breeding Red-whiskered Bulbuls with Yellow-vented Bulbuls" and "published records of Red-whiskered Bulbuls hybridising in captivity with Red-vented Bulbul P. cafer, White-eared Bulbul P. leucotis, White-spectacled Bulbul P. xanthopygos, Black-crested Bulbul P. melanicterus (McCarthy 2006) and Himalayan Bulbul P. leucogenys (Law 1921)."
The study authors added, "Red-whiskered Bulbuls are also sometimes cross-bred with Stripe-throated Bulbuls P. finlaysoni and with Black-crested Bulbuls for ornamental purposes."
Upon a quick Google search of "bulbul singing competitions" I learned:
"As many as 720 singing red-whiskered Bulbuls, Nok Pa Rod Jook in Thai, are expected to take part, coming from all over Thailand to do so. Some birds are caught in the forest; those that are bought cost anywhere from 1,000 to one million baht."
Obviously those birds caught in the forest would be exposed to Culex mosquitoes (which prefer to feed on birds).
Local Pastime in Pakistan: Children Play With Bulbuls
So While Kids in Rich Countries Watch a Cartoon
Children and Adults are Playing With and Raising Bulbuls
I cannot fathom how the WHO and CDC can ignore ethical scientists for over a year.
Once the Culex genus of mosquitoes was determined to carry Zika, the no-brainer decision should follow: look for Zika in birds (who might be amplifying the virus a billion times). A single "super amplifier" bird can infect 100s of mosquitoes.
In fact, in 1971, Okia et al. discovered that almost half of Little greenbuls had Zika. Over decades, this number would only increase. In fact, over 300 species of birds carry West Nile virus (very related to Zika).
So, if The Jim Henson Company might find it in their heart to throw some money towards the researchers I've mentioned: Drs. Ayres, Hunter, Guedes, Guo et al., and Evans et al., perhaps we can protect the most vulnerable people in the world.
"The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world." ~ Dr. Paul Farmer
Ways to Help Stop the Spread of the Zika Virus
Press your local politicians, health departments, mosquito control boards, and others to test Culex mosquitoes for Zika (they already do for West Nile virus). Mosquito control efforts should include Culex.
Report any dead birds (do not handle them without gloves) and ask that they be tested for Zika as well.
If you are aware of any pet bulbuls, inform the owner (or pet store) that they could be reservoir hosts of Zika and should be tested, kept indoors, and away from mosquitoes at all times.
Red-whiskered bulbuls have been introduced in Australia (New South Wales) and are found in suburban Melbourne and Adelaide (although it is unclear how they got there).
They have been introduced in Los Angeles, Mauritius, Hawaii, Assumption Island, and Mascarene Islands. It's found in Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, United Emirates, Hong Kong, Taiwan, southeast Asia (China, Pakistan, and India) and probably other places.
Share this article. Ask questions. Write to the CDC and The Jim Henson Company and express your concerns at:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30329 USA
800-CDC-INFO | (800-232-4636) | TTY: (888) 232-6348
Contact Form: https://wwwn.cdc.gov/dcs/ContactUs/Form
The Jim Henson Company
1416 North La Brea Ave
Hollywood, CA 90028
Zika: Let's Stop a Global Pandemic Collection
I also have a devoted Facebook page called Zika: Let's Stop a Global Pandemic where you can keep up-to-date on the latest findings from the scientific community (not just mainstream media).
Author's note: All of my citations have a clickable link to their source. The list is found in the bibliography at the end of this page.