Zika Virus Conspiracy Theories Debunked
In the face of a global health emergency brought by the Zika virus, one doctor takes to her blog to give the public information about the virus. While she’s doing this, she has also decided to tackle on some of the crazies theories emerging on the Zika virus, debunking them one at a time.Advertisement
Tara C. Smith, PhD, admits that she’s a “full-time nerd.” But more than that, she’s also a microbiologist and infectious disease epidemologist who is an associate professor at Kent State University. She has a degree in B.S. Biology from Yale University, and she got her PhD from the University of Toledo, where she investigated the pathogenesis of the Group A Streptococcus.
Smith also spent 9 years with the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Iowa, College of Public Health where she directed the university’s Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases. Clearly, if there’s more to know about Zika virus, Dr. Smith is the person to ask.
Conspiracies emerging whenever there is a virus outbreak is normal. However, Dr. Smith stresses that these theories have no merit scientifically, considering that conspiracy theorists do not tend to use logic.
First, she says there is no way the current Zika virus outbreak was due to British company Oxitec releasing some genetically-modified mosquitoes. Dr. Smith argues that even if the said mosquitoes were capable of reproduction, it doesn’t mean they are also infected with the Zika virus.
Meanwhile, there is also a claim that the Tdap vaccine had something to do with the increase of microcephaly among Brazilian babies. The vaccine is actually recommended only during the late stage of pregnancy (27 to 36 weeks), so it’s not possible for the drug to have a significant effect on a baby’s brain or skull development.
On the other hand, there is also a claim by Jon Rappoport that the Zika virus is actually non-existent or has no connection with microcephaly. Therefore, the supposed “outbreak” is meant to be a ploy to push a supposed Zika vaccine to people.
To this, Dr. Smith says, “He’s (Rappoport) taking the parts of the research that fit his biases and ignoring the parts he doesn’t.” The Zika virus may still be linked to the increase in cases of microcephaly.
As of the moment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is still no treatment or vaccine available for the treatment or prevention of the Zika virus.