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Zumba to Zika
Commentary on the News
Thursday, February 04, 2016
J.L. Robb

One day I was channel surfing.  Remember when there were only three channels? Surfing was quick back then. Now we have 200+ channels of which maybe 30 are worthy to be called such. Suddenly my attention was riveted to channel 46, Zumba Dance the Weight Away or something like that.

Well let me tell you, I have never seen anything like this. It was dance, and I loved the Latin music; but the amount of energy expended in the exercise almost defied physics. I got my exercise that day by sitting in my recliner and watching Zumba for an hour. I am sure I burned off thousands of calories and was totally out of breath by the time it was over.

Zumba, an accident from Columbia, brought a phenomenon from South America to the world that has shed tons of weight, sort of like the old McDonalds promos: Over 2 billion pounds shed. Zumba has turned out to be a blessing to many, but I can also see a heart attack in there somewhere.

From the land of Zumba, beautiful South America, comes the Zika; and Zika is definitely not a blessing to anyone and can only hope that the birds who eat the mosquitos that carry the Zika virus cannot spread the disease. Zika chicken Alfredo.

One year ago I had never heard of the Zika virus though I had and still do follow closely the Chikungunya, also mosquito borne.

The Chikungunya virus at one time affected only people in Africa, where it was discovered in 1952 and spread to Asia, Europe and regions of the Indian Ocean. Recently it made its way to the Caribbean and has now spread to the United States.

In 2006, there were no known cases of the Chikungunya in the USA and was rarely identified in US travelers. In 2015. it became a nationally notifiable condition by the CDC in Atlanta. It gets its name from the Tanganyikan region of Africa, a name that means “that which bends up,” because of the often contorted condition in which the unfortunate find themselves and resembles severe arthritis. There is no vaccine. All this from a nearly unseen mosquito, possible God’s greatest vector of disease. There are many.

Mosquito: Any of a family (Culicidae) of dipteran flies with females that have a set of slender organs in the proboscis adapted to puncture the skin of animals and to suck their blood and that are in some cases vectors of serious diseases.

The Zika virus is in the news now, daily. If one Googles or does any internet search on Zika virus, it is overwhelming.

Spread once again by a mosquito, most victims often never know they have become infected and are a carrier. Symptoms are usually a mild cold, unless you are a pregnant woman and the fetus inside. This disease, spreading at such a rate, could change the abortion industry, especially in South America. In America and the West, it is no problem. We already allow abortions for virtually any reason. In South America, mainly Catholic, abortion is not nearly so readily available.

The biggest danger to soon-to-be-born babies is microcephaly, a brain disorder. In most cases the mother has no symptoms or knowledge that she has the disease.

Microcephaly results in a smaller than normal head size and shape, while the face continues to grow to normal size and shape. Most victims grow to be underweight and dwarf-like. Motor skills are often impaired, and the children sometimes suffer convulsions and clumsiness.

In Brazil, soon-to-be mothers are rushing to hospitals to have ultrasounds, trying to see if their babies have smaller than normal heads. So far one hospital has had 160 births with resulting microcephaly since August 2015 and one expectant mother had this to say:

"It's very frightening. I'm worried my daughter will have microcephaly," says Elisangela Barros, 40, shedding a tear behind her thick-rimmed glasses. "My neighborhood is poor and full of mosquitoes, trash and has no running water. Five of my neighbors have Zika."

The test costs more than a month’s wages, and doctors are concerned about the back-alley abortion rate in a country where abortion is illegal except in the case of rape or possibility of the mother’s death.

I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. Revelation 6: 8 NIV

Plague is mentioned throughout the Bible. The mosquito, with its ability to puncture skin and penetrate blood vessels has been the known vector of many diseases. It is my personal belief that mosquito-borne disease will increase as time advances.

So why did God make mosquitos? Don’t we wish Noah had left the two mosquitoes behind? And the fleas too.

The mosquito that carries the Zika virus is the Aedes aegyptimosquitoes which also carries many other diseases.

I have written before about why God may have created mosquitoes and believe it is so He can spread the plagues that are described in Revelation and the plagues called down on mankind by the Two Witnesses.

Dengue fever: A disease transmitted via mosquito infects 400-million people a year, primarily in the tropics. Prevalent in Puerto Rico, the island suffered its most serious outbreak in 2010. Florida is now suffering from dengue for the first time in 75 years.

West Nile Virus: Most commonly transmitted via mosquito, symptoms are flu-like and most do not know they have the infection. Only a small percentage of cases prove fatal.

Chikungunya: Primarily affecting people in Africa, Asia, Europe and regions of the Indian Ocean it was discovered for the first time in the Americas and Caribbean in 2013. Symptoms include headache, joint pain and swelling and muscle pain. There is no vaccine.

Malaria: Also transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito, 660,000 died from malaria in 2010; and 219-million were infected.

What if mosquitos could transmit HIV? The theory has been proposed before.

I suppose every cloud does have that silver lining though. An Atlanta area entrepreneur has borrowed an idea from the Caribbean and is installing mister systems. I saw it on the news this week and is a really great idea. It looked similar to a lawn sprinkler system and provided a mist three times during the day to repel the mosquitoes. The mist is a deterrent to the mosquitoes but is safe and organic, made from chrysanthemums. Mr. Mister.

And if anyone would like to try a little Zumba to stay in shape…

About J.L. Robb

Last week: Great Balls of Fire

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