The WHO ignored the early warnings in February 2016 about the Culex genus of mosquitoes and now Zika is spreading throughout the poorest regions of the globe. Our public health authorities failed to contain the virus and repeatedly downplayed or ignored crucial scientific facts. Culex mosquitoes in Brazil and China are spreading Zika (which means birds are likely reservoir hosts). What's worse: Wolbachia that is acquired by any species after (or perhaps along with) a Zika infection is probably enhanced by Wolbachia. Bottom line: Wolbachia-infected mosquito releases are likely at the root of this global pandemic and their detrimental impact to humans (and other vertebrate species) must be investigated by independent researchers.
Some scientists have sold their souls, apparently. After reading a study that blamed El NiÃ±o for the spread of Zika, I couldn't help but delve deeper into what Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes might be doing to humans. And as I researched further, it became clear why Culex mosquitoes have been dismissed as Zika vectors: Wolbachia-infected Aedes mosquito releases are heavily funded by four governments (including Bill Gates). And they could be causing more harm than good.
Over the past few days, I've been shocked to see and hear obvious attempts to downplay Zika's similarities to West Nile virus. And what I discovered sent chills up my spine. It's possible that a seemingly harmless mosquito control method (using the bacterium Wolbachia) could enhance the Zika virus in Culex mosquitoes. And Culex have finally been acknowledged as a vector of Zika (by the WHO). In California and Florida, Culex mosquitoes are everywhere. And it appears that dangerous decisions have been (and are being) made by our public health authorities that we can never undo.
No surprise: money is probably at the root of why the public (and many in the scientific community) are ignoring, omitting, or downplaying the fact that the Zika virus is found in birds. Forty-five years ago, 15 percent of birds studied in Uganda were found to be reservoir hosts of the Zika virus. That percentage would only increase as Zika has spread and mutated around the globe. And Culex are also vectors of the Zika virus (this has been proven by three independent research teams out of Brazil, China, and Canada). Those culpable for the most harmful strain of Zika may be the backers of Wolbachia-infected mosquito releases. The people involved include Bill and Melinda Gates and the following governments: UK Department for International Development, United States Agency for International Development through the Combating Zika and Future Threats Grand Challenge, Australian and Queensland governments, and the Brazilian government. With those deep pockets and power, it's no wonder why crucial studies and reports have magically disappeared from the internet.
Once I researched Wolbachia some more, I realized there has been a dangerous precedent already set in motion in California, Brazil, Columbia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Australia. Two separate research teams found Culex infected by a specific type of Wolbachia caused a totally unexpected result: an increase in West Nile and malaria infections. Culex already harbor Wolbachia, however, there are numerous strains of this bacteria. Since the WHO has finally admitted that Culex are also a vector of Zika, I felt it was prudent for Florida (and other regions of the world) to be aware of the risks involved with Wolbachia-based mosquito control and to test out whether local Culex - that will eventually acquire it naturally from the Wolbachia-infected Aedes - will become (or are already) a more worrisome vector of the Zika virus.
The carelessness of our public health authorities over the Zika virus has disappointed me immensely this past year. And just when I thought there would be some signs of remorse, WHO's director-general, Dr. Margaret Chan, blamed the vector control strategies of countries in southeast Asia. Meanwhile, she has known since February 2016 that Culex mosquitoes were also a likely Zika vector that require entirely different eradication methods. But even worse: Wolbachia-infected Aedes mosquitoes have been released in various regions of the world for the past six years. And while Wolbachia in Aedes may not be transmitted to humans; Culex mosquitoes are capable of acquiring it and transmitting it. Culex are able to infect humans with filarial worms infected with Wolbachia. And Wolbachia seem to play an inordinate role in diseases. For weeks I poured over studies and found to my utter shock that Culex with Zika and Wolbachia could be responsible for some of the most devastating outcomes for human life.
Exploration of the tide pools and beaches in Southern California can result in encountering many different animal species, both vertebrates and invertebrates. Some are amusing to observe, others potentially dangerous, and some can be safely touched. Many similar animal species are found at beaches around the world.
While exploring tide pools and beaches in Southern California, many different animals may be encountered, both vertebrates and invertebrates. Some are amusing, others are dangerous, and some can even be safely touched. Many similar species are found in locations around the world.
Tarantulas are over 900 species worldwide, and include the largest spiders on Earth. There is a wasp that also has a worldwide distribution, called the tarantula hawk, that intentionally hunts and kills tarantula spiders. This large wasp has the second-most painful sting of any insect on Earth but thankfully rarely attacks humans. If you've never felt sorry for large spiders before, you will if you ever witness one of the epic battles between tarantulas and tarantula hawks.
Jaguars and leopards have many physical similarities, although there are definite ways to tell the two species apart. There are other differences as well, such as the fact that they live on different continents and would never meet in the wild. Some differences are behavioral. Knowing some basic information about them can make it much easier to tell the two species apart.
Three of the seven sea turtle species on Earth are critically endangered, which is the most severe rating given for a wild animal. The decline of these species and others around the world can be attributed to the activities of human beings, and more can and should be done to minimize the harm being done. The three critically endangered sea turtle species are the hawksbill, Kemp's ridley, and leatherback sea turtles.
Argentinosaurus is regarded as the most massive land animal known to have ever existed. This titanosaur lived in what is now Argentina, South America during the second half of the Cretaceous Period.
Besides some species of snake, insect, arachnid, jellyfish, and other animals that are more well known for being venomous, there are some lesser-known mammals on our planet that are also venomous. Some have weak venom meant to paralyze small animals such as worms or insects, whereas others have venom with toxicity equivalent to highly venomous snakes.
Australia has two of the largest birds in the world, trailing only the African ostriches. They are the emu and the southern cassowary, which like ostriches, are flightless. Together with ostriches and several other species, they make up a unique family of birds known as the ratites.
Our planet has forty cat species, including the domestic house cat, and of those, four to ten, depending on whose criteria are being used, are classified as "big cats." Oddly, the strictest criteria limiting the list to four leaves out a species that is larger than number four on the list.
In Florida, USA there are two species of crocodilians, the American alligators and American crocodiles. The two are often confused, although there are definite differences that when known make identifying and differentiating between the two much easier.