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Yellow Fever Outbreak In Brazil Evokes Memories of Zika

The specter of the Zika scare was raised when CNN reported on a yellow fever outbreak in rural Brazil. Once again this South American country is the epicenter of what is described as a health crisis. It remains to be seen if the danger matches the hype and if this potential tragedy will be used as leverage by pro-vaccine shills and insecticide manufacturers.

The yellow fever vaccine has been in the news before. Eight years ago, the CDC discovered blood products contaminated with the yellow fever vaccine. Apart from the victims, this incident has been mostly forgotten but it serves as a stern reminder of the enormous toll in human suffering that has been inflicted by medical errors.

Contaminated blood notwithstanding, yellow fever is a mosquito-borne disease and this news is vaguely reminiscent of the Zika scare. It has been only a year since the over-hyped “Zika plague” was the focus of world attention. Does the World Health Organization cry “wolf” and should they revisit what constitutes a global public health emergency?

The Brazilian government has since admitted that overly generous parameters resulted in dramatic over-reporting of Zika virus, dubbed by the media as the "shrunken head" virus due the highly publicized dangers of encephalopathy. The terrifying possibility of birth defects prompted the widespread spraying of insecticides in Florida and resources being dumped into a “race” for a Zika vaccine. 

The reemergence of yellow fever is certainly troubling and if true, is a serious concern. Fortunately, there are better methods of mosquito abatement than saturating areas with toxic insecticides using the spray and pray method.

Eliminate standing water and you will eliminate the breeding grounds of many mosquitos. A simple house fan could also help keep mosquitoes at bay if you're having a get-together in your backyard or, for a longer-term solution, try installing a bat house (bats are voracious consumers of insects, especially mosquitoes). Consuming garlic can protect against bites as can cinnamon leaf oil, vanilla extract mixed with olive oil, citronella oil and catnip oil. Many of these have been shown to be more effective than DEET.
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