If I Google "Zika" the Image on the Left Appears
The Image on the Right Includes Facts You Deserve
Finally, the WHO acknowledged the tireless work of Dr. Constância F. J. Ayres and her team in Brazil. However, it took too long.
The WHO ignored urgent warnings from Dr. Ayres (and those of others) since February 2016.
And it wasn't just a hunch.
Dr. Ayres and her team collected and identified over 5,000 mosquitoes while searching for ZIKV [Zika virus] in the wild over a 10-month period.
The results: nearly half of those with ZIKV were Aedes aegypti and most of the rest were Culex quinquefasciatus. Only 2 percent were Aedes albopictus.
Squirreled Away on WHO's WebsiteCredit: Screenshot of WHO's Page Where Culex Evidence is Finally Acknowledged by RoseWrites Nov. 11, 2016
Credit: RoseWrites [Fair Use] Screenshot of WHO's webpage: Zika virus and complications: Questions and answers Online Q&A Updated 19 September 2016. Note: You need to scroll to "Mosquito surveillance (monitoring)" and click "Updated" post.
I Asked Dr. Ayres the Following Question:
Since Culex are also vectors, would the infectious dose of the Zika virus from a Culex mosquito be more apt to cause symptoms and the more devastating outcomes for a human than from the bite of Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus?
Her answer: "This is a good question and deserves further investigation."
West Nile Virus and Zika
The June 1st, 2016 AAAS post by Gretchen Vogel also alerted me to the similarities of Zika with West Nile virus (WNV):
Duane Gubler, a virologist at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, agreed that Culex is a plausible carrier. He noted that several ZIKV relatives spread by Culex mosquitoes, including the West Nile virus, target the nervous system, which Zika also seems to do.
Professor Walter Leal
Proof From Canada, China
In his paper Zika mosquito vectors: the jury is still out [version 1; referees: 5 approved], Dr. Walter Leal clarified the following:
Dr. Fiona Hunter, Canadian medical entomologist, "examined closely the phylogeny of ZIKV-related viruses and showed that ZIKV belongs to a transition point between classical Culex-associated and Aedes-associated viruses."
Her findings support a "wider range of ZIKV vectors".
As mentioned in my article Another Mosquito Carries Zika: The Proof Health Authorities and Media are Ignoring, Dr. Hunter stated:
"If you look at the support for the phylogenetic placement [of Zika virus], there is 99 percent support for that node .... the clade includes West Nile, Saint Louis encephalitis, and Zika viruses."
Notably, the Zika virus does not belong to the clade of hemorrhagic viruses (like dengue and yellow fever), which are transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes.
Dr. Duschinka Guedes presented strong evidence that "in Recife, Brazil, both Aedes aegypti and Cules quinquefasciatus are vectors" of the Zika virus.
In China, "Dr. Tang-yan Zhao reached similar conclusions. Dr. Zhao performed conventional vector competence studies, which demonstrated ZIKV replication in midgut and salivary glands."
Dr. Leal summarized:
"These two independent studies discussed at the Zika Symposium are complementary in nature and they both support the notion that Cx. quinquefasciatus might be a ZIKV vector."
So Why Did Dr. Robert Haley State:
"West Nile and Zika Are Entirely Different."
I almost fell out of my chair when I watched an NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth news report. In it, Dr. Robert Haley, Chief of Epidemiology at UT Southwestern, states:
"West Nile and Zika are entirely different."
"It is possible that a mosquito could bite a person who just came back from El Salvador or Mexico or somewhere and transmit to somebody, that's possible. It's just it's so unlikely that it's just not happening."
And he added:
"People with similar reasons for travel tend to live in similar areas."
August 2015 NIAID's Poster Shows Malaria
Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus, and Chikungunya
But the CDC Will Not Show WNV With Zika
This Fact Sheet Was Dated October 13th, 2016:
And I Found Multiple Sources of This Too
It's so strange, even in CDC-sponsored airport signs, Zika is paired up with dengue and chikungunya.
When I wrote to Dr. Constância Ayres, I mentioned:
"I clearly see the similarities between West Nile virus and Zika, however the CDC (and others) keep on drawing the attention back to Zika being similar to the hemorrhagic flaviviruses."
And she responded: "I don't understand why."
This has lingered in the back of my mind for days.
And I thought of this quote:
"The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said."
~ Peter F. Drucker (1909 – 2005) Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author
Photo Credit: IsaacMao on flickr (CC-by-2.0)
Wolbachia-Infected Mosquitoes Released
Every Week in California To Fight Aedes Aegypti
On August 4th, 2016, I read a Wired post by Sarah Zhang that caught my attention. I'm connected to people who help the homeless in California, so I tend to keep an eye on their news.
The article stated:
"This is all a big experiment. The district hopes the Wolbachia-infected male mosquitoes will become a vital tool against Aedes aegypti, a mosquito species invading the U.S. that can carry diseases like dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika."
N.B: Again, no mention of West Nile virus.
And just two hours ago, while writing this article I found out: Wolbachia may be deployed in Miami's fight.
640,000 Wolbachia-Infected Aedes Aegypti
Were Released in California by Summer's End 2016
Risks of Wolbachia Mosquito Control
Another AAAS post dated March 18th, 2016 revealed something disturbing:
"Wolbachia strains are capable of transferring horizontally in distantly related arthropods in a short period of time. Parasites are also able to carry Wolbachia strains to other species."
Then, I found a 2014 Pacific Standard report by Jon Upton titled Tackling West Nile With Bacteria May Worsen the Disease and I shuddered. It stated:
Culex mosquitoes treated with Wolbachia were MORE likely to carry the virus.
Jason Rasgon, an associate professor in Penn State’s entomology department, has been investigating Wolbachia and mosquitoes for more than a decade. He investigated whether the bacteria could help control the spread of West Nile Virus (WNV) by Culex mosquitoes. He was expecting Wolbachia to block WNV, but it didn't.
"We had to repeat it a couple times before we actually believed the result." ~ Jason Rasgon
Rasgon said the findings show the need for caution in moving forward with Wolbachia-based mosquito control efforts.
"I can’t believe this is just a fluke. If you keep looking, you’ll probably find more examples of it." ~ Jason Rasgon
In California, Culex is the second largest genus of mosquitoes. And in Florida, Culex quinquefasciatus is found in all 67 counties.
And a 2011 Ars Technica post by John Timmer titled Meet Wobachia: the male-killing, gender-bending, gonad-eating bacteria stated:
"The bacteria is tough enough to survive for at least a week after its host's death, allowing it to spread to new organisms."
And it gets worse:
"Wolbachia can ensure that all offspring end up as infected females. In some isopods, the bacteria head for the organ that produces male sex hormones and destroy it, ensuring the embryo develops as a female."
Only female mosquitoes bite.
So, once the Culex species acquires Wolbachia via infected Aedes after they die, it's possible that even more female Culex will be produced to spread disease to humans.
Professor Walter Leal Also Addressed
Wolbachia-Based Vector Control Strategies
Dr. Anthony James, University of California-Irvine, said in response to Dr. Thomas Scott, University of California-Davis:
These genetic tools might not be the best strategies for ZIKV given that at this point there seem to be multiple vectors not only at the species but also at the population level. The current genetic technologies would not be appropriately applied to such complex systems.
If Culex Acquired Wolbachia Somehow
Would it Make Culex More Susceptible to Zika?
In regards to Wolbachia in Culex enhancing West Nile virus, Jason Rasgon said:
"This is the first time a human pathogen has been shown to be enhanced with a Wolbachia infection."
When I Googled "Wolbachia Culex Zika"
Right in My Face: Culex Do Not Transmit Zika
Addendum: November 12th, 2016
Naturally Wolbachia-Infected Mosquitoes Increases the Susceptibility of Culex Pipiens Quinquefasciatus
I've spent the past few days looking for studies about the effects of Wolbachia on Culex mosquitoes.
And a February 5th, 2014 study called Wolbachia Increases Susceptibility to Plasmodium Infection in a Natural System by , , , , , and
More About the Zika Virus
How to Prevent the Global Spread of Zika
I designed serious (and some humorous) products on Zazzle to help raise funds for Zika research. My Zazzle collection and my devoted Facebook page are both called: Zika: Let's Stop a Global Pandemic.
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.