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A Serious Response Is Needed, But Let's Not "Wage War" on Zika


A Serious Response Is Needed, But Let's Not "Wage War" on Zika

Susan Sered

The emergence and spread of the Zika virus is worrisome on many levels: it highlights the impact of global warming on the spread of infectious and mosquito-borne diseases and the reality that the poorest families in Brazil and other countries disproportionately bear the burdens of global warming.


Why is the Vatican mum on this issue?

This deserves to be restated:

'Struggles to control women’s sexuality and fertility play out in legal, medical and domestic arenas. While media and public health sources encourage women not to fall pregnant, the prevalence of both stranger rape and intimate partner violence force many women into pregnancies that, in the wake of Zika, are not only unwanted but also likely to carry the extra stigma of failure to obey “sensible” public health directives. The problematic history of public responses to viruses such as HIV-AIDS that may be spread through sexual contact, especially when the virus initially impacts disenfranchised or stigmatized groups, is further cause for concern."

And so does this:

"In fact, as of yet there is no proof that the Zika virus causes microcephaly."

Our age is marked by covert activity. The coincidence that a genetically modified mosquito happened to be let loose in Brazil, and/or that it's one of the nations making plans to wean from the U.S. dollar (hegemonic teat) suggest foul play either intended, or otherwise.

And this "remedy," God help us from it:

“Obama Asks Congress for $1.8 billion to Combat Zika Virus.” This language is more than metaphorical. While the virus is the presumptive enemy, it’s an enemy that takes cover in human populations which easily become “military” targets. There is a problematic history of indiscriminate aerial spraying of poisonous chemicals — especially in poor regions — whether well-intended or not. And unlike the Zika virus, defoliants such as Agent Orange are proven dangers to the health of fetuses."


Why does the political establishment "wage war" on Zika?

Because that's how it reacts to every perceived crisis.

War on drugs, war on poverty, war on this, war on that, war on everything.

When serious people confront important public policy issues, they look for solutions to problems.

"Waging war" is the simplistic alternative to serious thought.


Too bad the politicians don't respond with a "War on the lead pipes ruined by republican neoliberalistic ideology in the State of Michigan where 100,000 people are being poisoned on a daily basis."


The misogyny of South America is only slightly more intense than in the US. Women all over the Judeo=Christiaan-Islamic world are living in a sea of sadism bent on controlling their sexuality. In Peru 50% of women reported that their first sexual experience was forced. For most humans after food and shelter the next important thing is sex especially for young adults. As a young woman in such an oppressive sadistic culture; What do you do? Many put themselves, with help of course, in a situation where they end up having sex "against their will". That absolves them of the guilt in a way. The young men are also caught because they can't have a healthy loving sexual relationship. Women have many ways of signaling to their partners. Such phrases as "Your too sweet". tell a gentle man that he is expected to take control. Of course many young men that grow up in the male privileged culture take advantage by doing such things as promising marriage.
It is a sick situation where there are few winners and many losers. Of course a man who is unmarried and not a virgin is honored but a woman is shamed and if she becomes pregnant and remains unmarried she is an outcast. Patriarchy is not good for the 99% of both genders. And let us not forget the children. It is difficult for them to grow up mentally healthy in a patriarchy.

There are 25,000 cases of microcephaly in the US every year from various causes. The focus on a Brics member in an Olympic year that is financially precarious for Brazil, makes me wonder about the not so invisible hand of Wall Street.


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Your post is more sensitive (and informed) than what I typically come up against in this forum. The closet misogyny is chilling.

But there are a few things you left out:

  1. Most of the time, the male is larger and stronger than the female. That means if a man really wants sex, he can certainly use his greater strength to force that. It hardly matters if the woman said "he's sweet" to "lead him on."

  2. The world's people are being rendered poorer and poorer, and in almost every society, women own less than men and make less money than men do. In some (Arab world), a woman can't even go out without a male escort. Try that on a job!

What this means is that in order to secure food/shelter, particularly if there are children in the equation, some women will feel forced to succumb to a sexual relationship.

You can argue that misogyny is bad for both genders and in the ultimate philosophical sense that's true. The same can be said for both the victim and the torturer. Still, one of the two has far greater options and volitional power.

There's misogyny in India (Hinduism), in the Arab world (Honor crimes, the Taliban, genital mutilation), in the West (high levels of rape, domestic abuse, and "porn culture"), and in Latin America. It's also seen in Africa... do you recall the stories of Boco Harem and the child soldiers gang-raping women... even with bayonets?

This hatred of the Feminine is really anger at life, God, and the female's procreative powers. Attacks on the womb are not just about power. They say something far more symbolic.


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Interesting post sioux. Reminds me that Libya had equality laws passed in the 70s. Tyrant? Maybe but the most progressive tyrant in the world.


Sounds to me like the beginning of a George Carlin comic screed.

But seriously folks, I happened to find a completely different slant rather than fixing of culpability on the lowly Zika mosquito and various microorganisms associated with it. Perhaps the insecticide used against the mosquito is the culprit. That is thinking outside the box. In a recent article in Ecologist, a GMO insecticide named Pyriproxyfen manufactured in Japan under the aegis of Monsanto, is possibly a more logical explanation for the microcephaly outbreak.

This seems so to me, and would preclude starting still another war. One should also be informed in all these articles of a single allele in the human genome that causes microcephaly, i.e. it causes human brains to be big or small. As soon as one hears or reads Monsanto, money, and GMO, one must be on ones guard.


I'm not sure how you believe the actual virus or other factor that causes the mutation is transmitted. Unless we're being lied to by the medical establishment, there is an actual virus that exists and is being transmitted via mosquitos. That virus is being transmitted to individuals vacationing or on business trips of short duration to locations where the incidence of viral infections is relatively high.


If it is a virus, what are our chances of developing a vaccine against it that will stop the epidemic without causing worse problems?


Vaccines can be created. If they've isolated the virus there's a chance for a vaccine. The question is whether it's safer to contract the disease than it is to take the vaccine?
Vaccines are created by taking genetic material from one species and inserting that into other species that would not otherwise be affected. In this process it is possible to infect those who receive a vaccine with a strain of a disease causing pathogen that humans were previously immune to.

Humans inadvertently created mad cow disease by using the brains and spinal chords of slaughtered cattle and other pigs as feed for cattle. It was cost effective for cattle ranchers and feed producers, but created a new type of deadly pathogen.

Another question is how did the virus originate, and what is causing it to expand beyond the boundaries that previously marked the territory where it was active? A quick response based on no data would be that climate change is warming the regions adjacent to those areas where the virus has previously been active.


Mad cow disease is caused by a prion rather than a virus. Rather than containing any DNA or RNA, a prion is a badly folded protein that somehow caused similar unfolded proteins next to it to fold up the same way. Hard to say whether a prion is alive or not. So far our medical researchers have been fairly successful at creating vaccines against viruses that leave humans who catch them with long lasting immunity. Vaccines for viruses that cause same person to catch same disease many times because they fail to leave humans who catch them with long lasting immunity can't be very successful.


Prions are not alive. They function more like a toxin. Kind of like does rust on iron. Prions are not removed by cooking for example. They are a substance not an infectious organism.


Glad to hear Prions are not alive. It still bothers me that they manage to multiply.


Actually it seems that they are infectious ( I thought the term was restricted to living agents). They can cause other prion proteins to 'fold' incorrectly and become these dangerous prions. But no they aren't alive.


Sorry for the confusion. My comment was too hastily written and I did not proof read it closely enough.

Yes, I understand that Mad Cow Disease is not caused by a virus. It was not my intention to state that it was. The reference to MCD was there to give an example of how humans messing with genetic diseases can cause unintentional consequences.

The last paragraph in my comment included above should have begun, "Another question is how did the Zika virus originate, ..."

I did specify the subject of that final paragraph was returning to the subject raised in the original article.