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Physician: Lifting DDT Ban Could Stop Mosquito-Borne Zika Virus

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The executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) asserts that a lifting of the ban on DDT could prevent the spread of the Zika virus, just as it could have wiped out malaria.

Dr. Jane Orient tells Breitbart News the major public health measure required to combat the Zika virus pandemic is mosquito control and says, “DDT was the most effective public health weapon of all time.”

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Orient continues:

The ban on DDT was basically the decision of one man, William Ruckelshaus, going against a mountain of evidence on safety and enormous health benefits. It was said that, “If they can ban DDT, they can ban anything.” And that’s how the EPA power grab started. Millions of African babies have died and are still dying of malaria because if it.

“Substitute pesticides are far more toxic and expensive,” she adds. “People are advised to use insect repellents such as DEET — which is absorbed through the skin, and safety in pregnancy is not established.”

Orient’s view is shared by president of Pioneer Energy Dr. Robert Zubrin, who recently wrote at National Review, “The most effective pesticide is DDT. If the Zika catastrophe is to be prevented in time, we need to use it.”

Zubrin observes the pesticide’s history:

DDT was first employed by the U.S. Army to stop a typhus epidemic in Naples that had been created by the retreating Germans through their destruction of that city’s sanitation system. Subsequently, Allied forces used it in all theaters to save millions of disease-ravaged victims of Axis tyranny, and after the war employed it to wipe out malaria in the American south, southern Europe, and much of south Asia and Latin America. The benefits of these campaigns were unprecedented. As the National Academy of Sciences put it in a 1970 report: To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT. It has contributed to the great increase of agricultural productivity, while sparing countless humanity from a host of diseases, most notably perhaps, scrub typhus and malaria. Indeed, it is estimated that in little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million deaths due to malaria that would otherwise have been inevitable.

Zubrin asserts that environmentalists such as Rachel Carson, author of the 1962 book Silent Spring, propagated the notion that DDT was harmful to bird populations.

“This was false,” he writes. “In fact, by eliminating their insect parasites and infection agents, DDT was helping bird numbers to grow significantly.”

Nevertheless, Zubrin notes environmentalists launched an aggressive “massive propaganda campaign” that would ultimately ban the use of DDT.

According to Orient, Zika is not a new virus, having been first identified in humans in 1947 in Uganda’s Zika Forest. Nevertheless, CDC director Thomas Frieden observes the virus’s association with microcephaly and other fetal harm.

“There is no definitive proof that ZVD has caused birth defects,” Orient notes. “In fact, the evidence is against it. In Colombia, 3000 pregnant women had ZVD — with no microcephaly. In Brazil, only 17 of 404 cases of confirmed microcephaly were positive for ZVD. ZVD has been known since the 1940s as a benign disease, with no reported birth defects.”

Orient also advises against exposing women who may be pregnant to drugs or vaccines that have not been through thorough safety testing. She notes that, last year, Brazil mandated the pertussis vaccine for all pregnant women — without proof of safety during pregnancy.

Regarding the fear that Zika could spread through the United States via illegal immigrants, Orient believes that ZVD is perhaps one of the least important of the kinds of diseases that could be transmitted in that way. A concern she has is that President Obama proposes to spend $1.8 billion on the ZVD threat — which is now being used politically to promote abortion in countries where it is currently illegal — while “other genuine threats proliferate.”

“We could stop transmission now with effective mosquito control in affected areas,” Orient says.


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