As you’ve probably already heard, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently made an announcement declaring the Zika virus to be a global health emergency. They did so without providing much detail about the disease, however, so here is some more information and answers to questions many people are asking, such as: Where did it come from? And do the millions of genetically modified mosquitoes that have been released in these areas have anything to do with it?
First of all, this sexually-transmitted virus has been around for approximately 70 years, and is actually marketed by two companies, but before we get to that, let’s find out who owns the patent on the virus. It’s the Rockefeller Foundation.
As PBS points out:
Zika is a flavivirus, which is pronounced a bit a like flavor. Flay-v-virus. Most viruses in this family are carried by arthropods — mosquitoes and ticks. We’ve known about Zika virus since at least 1947, when researchers from the Rockefeller Foundation put a rhesus monkey in a cage in the middle of Zika Forest of Uganda. The team was conducting surveillance for yellow fever. But “Rhesus 766” would ultimately become the first known carrier of Zika virus. (It remains unconfirmed if monkeys or other animals are consistent carriers — or reservoirs — for the disease).