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Doctors on Zika in Pregnancy: ‘So Much We Don’t Know’ For Pregnant Women

Echoing testimony by experts before a Senate committee probing concerns about the Zika virus, experts in infectious disease and child and human development said during a Capitol Hill briefing that there is “so much we don’t know” about how the Zika virus affects an unborn child during pregnancy.

“There is so much we don’t know,” Dr. Jeanne Sheffield, a Johns Hopkins Hospital expert in pregnancy and infectious disease, stressed during a Capitol Hill briefing. “We don’t know the true incidence among pregnant women.”

As CNSNews.com reports, Sheffield added:

We have no idea if you take a thousand women that happen to be pregnant how many of them are going to turn positive for Zika over the course of their pregnancy. Then if a woman does turn positive during the pregnancy, we right now have no idea how many babies are going to get infected.

We don’t know what the transmission risk truly is. All we have is preliminary stuff, so we are in desperate need, because that’s what my patients want to know. They come to me, and they say, what are my chances? I’ve traveled to Puerto Rico. What are my chances of getting infected. What are my chances if I get infected of infecting my kid?

She continued that for those babies who test positive for Zika, “how many of them are actually going to one, have symptoms and two, what are the long term consequences? What are these kids who look absolutely normal at birth – everything is perfect at birth – are they going to be developmentally delayed at age two or age five? We have no idea.”

Despite the lack of scientific knowledge about the Zika virus’ effects on unborn children during pregnancy, Planned Parenthood has demanded even more taxpayer funding along with claims that only the abortion giant can fight Zika with birth control and abortion as its weapons.

“We are the front line of defense when it comes to battling Zika,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said, criticizing Republicans who refused to provide additional funding to the abortion giant in a $1.1 billion measure to combat Zika.

Laguens said it was “shameful” for Republicans “to undermine the ability of family planning providers like Planned Parenthood to do what we do best in the midst of this rapidly spreading Zika virus, a public health crisis that directly targets women and children.”

Senate Democrats blocked the GOP funding bill because it stripped out more funding for Planned Parenthood. President Barack Obama is still urging approval for his $1.9 billion proposal and had threatened to veto the GOP bill if it had passed the Senate.

“They restrict funding for birth control provided by Planned Parenthood. Can you believe that?” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said, according to CNN. “And the Zika problem, who does it affect? Women and especially pregnant women.”

“The bill passed by House Republicans doesn’t recognize Zika as a public health emergency,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), reports Roll Call. “It nickels and dimes our efforts to respond. It makes it more difficult for women to access birth control. And it waives safety rules for the use of pesticides.”

As Breitbart News has reported, Planned Parenthood has been taking advantage of worries surrounding the Zika virus and the birth defect known as microcephaly that has been linked with the virus. The abortion giant is particularly targeting Latin American countries that have restrictive abortion laws, in hopes of capitalizing on women’s fears and changing those laws.

However, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stressed in testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that it was “too soon” to be advising women about birth defects that might be linked to the Zika virus because little is known now about the effects of the virus on an unborn child.

“We’ve had examples where the ultrasounds were looking okay but the baby wasn’t okay and others where there seemed to be problems and then the baby turned out to be okay,” explained Rear Adm. Anne Schuchat, M.D. “I think it’s too soon for us to have a very confident set of information to counsel women with about just what to expect and how to plan.”

At the Capitol Hill briefing, Dr. Catherine Y. Spong, acting director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIHCD), also stressed the need for more information on the Zika virus in pregnancy particularly from areas such as Puerto RIco and Brazil which are experiencing active local transmission of the virus.

“We need a lot of information about Zika, and some of that we can best get through animal models, and some of that we can only get through a large cohort study, so both are absolutely essential,” Spong said. “We need to understand and be able to counsel the women who we see in our practices, what is the risk in pregnancy?”

The Zika virus is actually an old problem, one that Brazil successfully fought with the pesticide DDT in the past.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), explained recently that during the 1950s and 1960s, Brazil eliminated the mosquito carrying the Zika virus through the use of DDT.

Fauci said that Brazil was able to stop the spread of Zika through “a very aggressive attempt” to eradicate the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the virus and is “a very difficult mosquito to control and eliminate.”

Despite their expressed concern about the spread of Zika, Democrats rejected a bill that would end a redundant Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permit requirement to spray federally approved pesticides into bodies of water to combat the mosquito that carries the Zika virus.

Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, told Breitbart News recently that, in fact, the government should wipe the virus out completely by lifting the ban on DDT.

“DDT was the most effective public health weapon of all time,” she explained, adding:

The ban on DDT was basically the decision of one man, William Ruckelshaus [the first head of the EPA], 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,” Orient continues. “People are advised to use insect repellents such as DEET — which is absorbed through the skin, and safety in pregnancy is not established.”

Pioneer Energy president, Dr. Robert Zubrin, recently echoed the same idea at National Review: “The most effective pesticide is DDT. If the Zika catastrophe is to be prevented in time, we need to use it.”

“Rachel Carson … in her 1962 book, Silent Spring, made an eloquent case that DDT was endangering bird populations,” he explained. “This was false. In fact, by eliminating their insect parasites and infection agents, DDT was helping bird numbers to grow significantly.”

“No matter. Using Carson’s book and even more wild writing by Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich (who in a 1969 Ramparts article predicted that pesticides would cause all life in the Earth’s oceans to die by 1979), a massive propaganda campaign was launched to ban DDT,” Zubrin wrote.

According to The Hill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to bring up the $1.1. billion package for another vote this week before the Senate’s summer recess.

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