Zika Virus Caused By Genetically Modified Mosquitoes, And Other Conspiracy Theories

The Zika virus may have been caused by GM (genetically modified) mosquitoes, say new conspiracy theories. Although there are facts backing some of these far-fetched claims, there are others that just don’t make sense. One Inquisitr report suggested that the Zika virus may have come from certain sports events, even soccer, which experts have claimed as true, but there are several other theories that need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

One such claim has been made by the DC Clothesline on Twitter. They go as far as to see a link between the Zika outbreak and GM mosquitoes. They say that the Zika virus epicenter was the same area where GM mosquitoes were released in 2015.

According to the theorists, these “genetically modified organisms” were released in trial zones in Brazil, which also coincides with the outbreak’s epicenter.

In other news reports, there have been claims that are, again, far from the truth. There are some websites, such as Trinfinit8, that take the GMO theory a bit further and claim that the mosquitoes were developed by Oxitec, a British biotech company. The reports go as far as to claim that the company is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

No matter what the claims suggest, IFLScience says that it can’t be true. The trial sites were, in fact, more than 250 miles away from the epicenter of the outbreak, Oxitec said. Moreover, this species of mosquitoes may not fly more than a few hundred meters in their lifetime.

These conspiracy theories have been coming way before WHO declared the Zika virus a global public health emergency.

However, there is a backstory to this all that the theorists are clinging on to.

Activistpost said Oxitec first unveiled its genetically-modified mosquito farm in 2012. Where? You guessed it — Brazil. This was done to reduce “the incidence of dengue fever.” Dengue fever is spread by Aedes mosquitoes, which also spread the Zika virus. The theorists quote the WHO as saying that although these mosquitoes “cannot fly more than 400 meters… it (the Zika virus) may inadvertently be transported by humans from one place to another.” The website says Oxitec announced shortly after that it “successfully controlled the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads dengue fever, chikungunya and zika virus, by reducing the target population by more than 90%.” This puts a rest to some theories at least.

And then there is another video that says the Zika virus was patented by the Rockefeller Foundation.

In another case, “Anti Vaccination Australia” Facebook group, which has about 3,000 members, made links between a vaccine and the Zika virus. News.com.au quotes them as saying that it’s not a coincidence the TDAP vaccine, which is used to prevent tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and diphtheria in pregnant women, was introduced in Brazil a few months before the Zika virus outbreak.

There were people linking the TDAP vaccine in pregnant women to the cause of Zika birth defects. The above picture was posted to show the link the doctors say does not exist.

“The bottom line is that [anti vaxxers’] proposed concerns have no scientific basis,” said the president of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, professor Cheryl Jones, to news.com.au.

“That (TDAP) vaccine has been administered to millions of women. There have been a couple of big studies in the US comparing the health of thousands of pregnant women who had the vaccine compared to women who didn’t, and they found there was absolutely no difference in things like stillborns, birth defects, C-sections, premature birth, bleeding… all the things that can go wrong in a pregnancy,” the director of the National Centre for Immunization Research and Surveillance, Professor Peter McIntyre, said.

He further adds that claims TDAP vaccine causes the Zika virus are “absurd.”

“It shows absolutely no knowledge of the science that underlies all this,” he signs off.

We will let him have the last word on conspiracy theories surrounding the Zika virus.

[Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images]