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Is The West Nile Virus Bioterrorism That Was Unleashed Deliberately?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 16:56
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By Alan Cantwell MD
© 2012 Alan Cantwell, MD


Cases of West Nile Virus infection were unheard of in America until the summer of 1999 when cases first broke out in New York City. By August 2004, the virus has spread across the continent to the West coast. Two women (an 88-year-old and a 91-year-old) were the first to die of the disease in Los Angeles County. Since 1999, more than 30,000 people in the U.S. have been reported as getting sick with West Nile virus. Already this year, as of August 2012, 43 states have reported 693 cases with 26 deaths.

West Nile Virus encephalitis is yet another new infectious disease from an African virus that has mysteriously erupted in the U.S., seemingly out of the blue. Is this another epidemic disease like AIDS and hepatitis C that poses a threat to certain “high risk” groups? Could the outbreak of WN virus be some sort of biologic “test” (like the anthrax letter mailing attacks in September 2001) to wake people up to the dangers of bioterrorism? Are all these new “emerging infectious diseases” merely cruel and unprecedented acts of Mother Nature? Or could the “hand of man” in the form of crazy biological warfare scientists be producing these new outbreaks? Is it just a “coincidence” that all these weird bugs and illnesses have erupted in the past several decades? Or is all this just “paranoid” thinking?

New Emerging Diseases; Accident of Nature or man-made illnesses?

In the 1970s it was thought that many infectious diseases had been banished from the industrialized world. But, remarkably, over the last four decades more than 30 new “emerging infectious diseases” have appeared in various places. Some of the better-known diseases include AIDS, Legionnaire’s disease, toxic shock syndrome, Lyme disease, hepatitis C, “mad cow disease,” hanta virus, various new encephalitis and hemorrhagic viruses, Lassa fever, and Ebola virus. (New controversial diseases like chronic fatigue syndrome and Gulf War Illness affecting veterans, are not included in the government’s list of “emerging diseases.”)

Health officials blame increased global travel and globalization, population growth and movements, deforestation and reforestation programs, human sexuality (in the case of HIV), and increased human contact with tropical miniforests and other wilderness habitats that are reservoirs for insects and animals that harbor unknown infectious agents.

Nowhere in the official list of causes is the fact that for many decades millions of animals and innumerable vials of infectious material have been shipped around the world for commercial and biological warfare (b/w) purposes. The world trade in these deadly agents, coupled with gene-splicing technology, has increased the dangers of new disease outbreaks. In addition, many new viruses have been passed around between various species of animals, and some of these viruses have been adapted to human tissue. This has resulted in the production of new laboratory diseases that have potential biological warfare capabilities. The b/w implications of all these scientific “advances” have led some conspiracy-minded researchers to suspect that the hand of man might be responsible for the outbreak of one or more of these newly emerging diseases.

The new epidemic of West Nile Virus encephalitis in America

As mentioned, West Nile virus infection in humans first broke out in New York City in August 1999. The first sign of the WN epidemic occurred in early July when many birds died mysteriously. Half the crows in the New York City area died, as well as some exotic bird species housed at the Bronx zoo. The virus has an affinity for some species of birds; and the mosquito acts as a vector for the virus. Thus, the virus spreads from birds to mosquitoes, and the virus is spread to humans and other animals via mosquito bites. A few weeks after the bird kills, the first human cases of encephalitis appeared in local hospitals in the northern Queens section of the city. By September, nine of 25 infected horses with WN virus died in Long Island.

Although the virus is contagious between birds, the disease is not contagious between humans. It is estimated that only 20% of infected people will develop a mild flu-like form of the illness; but 1 in 150 people will develop a severe form of the disease with mental confusion, headache, swollen glands, high fever, severe muscle weakness, and the tell-tale symptoms of encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Mild cases last a few days; severe cases can last several weeks.
Until 2002 the virus was confined to states in the Eastern half of the country. By the summer of 2002, all but 6 of the lower 48 states reported WN virus in birds, mosquitoes, animals or humans.

Also by 2002 the CDC confirmed that a transplant patient became infected by WN virus after having received organs from a Georgia accident victim infected with the virus. There was also evidence that the virus could be transmitted by an infected mother to her infant during breast feeding. Shockingly, it was announced that WN virus was in the nation’s blood supply. In 2005 a blood screening test was developed and approved to test for the new virus.

West Nile virus: Out of Africa? Or out of a virus laboratory?

WN virus was first discovered in 1937 in encephalitis cases in Uganda, in East Africa. African cases tend to be a mild, and the virus there does not affect animal and bird populations to any significant degree. In fact, the ability of WN virus to infect and kill birds has only been noticed very recently. Could this indicate that the virus has been genetically-altered or ‘weaponized’ for biological warfare purposes during the many decades that it has been available for study in virus laboratories?

Mild outbreaks of WN occurred in Israel in 1951-1954 and 1957, and also in South Africa in 1974. However, since the mid 1990s, outbreaks of increasing frequency and severity have appeared in Morocco, Tunisia, Italy, Israel, and Russia, and have been strangely accompanied with a large number of bird deaths. A Romanian epidemic in 1996 infected 90,000 people and caused 17 deaths.

Scientists have determined that the closest viral “relative” of the “New York 99 strain” of the WN virus is a strain of WN virus that circulated in Israel from 1997-2000.

Health authorities suspect the virus entered the U.S. via travelers from the Middle East, or via a stray mosquito on an airplane. Other researchers claim the virus arrived with African animals or birds placed in zoos. But, in fact, the WN virus has been housed in U.S. labs for decades, and has been openly sold to researchers around the world.

It is hardly a secret that the WN virus, along with dozens of other infectious agents, was sold and shipped by the National Type Culture Collection (in Rockville, Maryland) to Iraq during the 1980s when the U.S. was on friendly terms with Saddam Hussein.

From the very beginning of the WN virus outbreak in the U.S., there were rumors that the disease outbreak was bioterrorism. However, there rumors were quickly denied by health officials. CDC spokesperson Barbara Reynolds told CNN that “the possibility of bioterrorism is at the bottom of the list for how some outbreak may have occurred. It appears Mother Nature is at work.” (CNN report, 10/11/99).

Various new theories of origin appeared in the press. For example, a Los Angeles Times editorial (9/28/02) proclaimed that “scientists think (the virus) may have arrived in the early 1980s when Asian tiger mosquitoes traveled in tire casings from Japan to Houston.” (One wonders who supplies the major media with these bizarre and undocumented stories.)

None of these theories deterred Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy from urging federal officials to determine if the introduction of WN virus is a terrorist attack. On September 12, 2002, Leahy declared: “I think we have to ask ourselves: Is it a coincidence that we’re seeing such an increase in WN virus — or is that something that’s being tested as a biological weapon against us.” Leahy is no stranger to bioterrorism, having received an anthrax-laden letter at his Washington office a year earlier.


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