The Zika Virus – What You Should Know

Did you know that the Zika Virus (also known as ATCC® VR-84) itself is not a new virus?

After doing a little research, I was able to identify that Zika virus was actually developed in a laboratory by a Dr J. Casals of the Rockefeller Foundation back in 1947 in Uganda. Please see the screenshot below:

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 11.13.07

[source: ATCC – Cell & Micro Biology]

During that time period, a lot of money was spent in research and development of biological weapons, which really began during World War 2 by the Nazi’s. Reports suggest that the Nazi’s wanted to use a biological weapon to fight the war and were looking to mosquitoes to deliver the payload. We were told that nothing had come from their efforts.


With genetically modified mosquitoes now in the wild, it remains to be seen exactly what will happen when these “modified mosquitoes” begin to bread with normal, everyday mosquitoes. Gene extraction and manipulation has never sat well with me. I immediately think of Resident Evil.

So, we have established that the Zika virus is not a “new virus” and has been around for a while. Here are some FAQ’s on the Zika virus quoted from the ATCC website:

What is Zika Virus?
Zika virus is a single-stranded RNA virus of the Flaviviridae family, genus Flavivirus (which also includes the Chikungunya, Dengue, and West Nile Viruses). Zika virus is transmitted to humans primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Zika virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys through a monitoring network of sylvatic yellow fever. It was subsequently identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.

Is Zika a new virus?
No. According to the CDC, Zika previously has been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. Since that time, local transmission has been reported in many other countries and territories.

Does ATCC distribute the Zika virus?
Yes, Zika virus (ATCC® VR-84™) strain MR766 has been distributed by ATCC since 1953. The virus is available through ATCC, and our designated International Distributors, for Research Purposes Only. Due to the recent high demand, the strain is currently on backorder pending production of a new lot.

With Brazil hosting the Rio 2016 Olympics & Paralympics – Summer Games in Brazil, people from all over the world will be attending the games. Fans, athletes, sponsors, corporate’s with invested interests. Don’t let your imagination run wild at this point – because theres more!

An Indian company (Bharat Biotech International Ltd) seems to have found a vaccine for the Zika virus. Although “at least 18 months from any shots against the virus to be ready for clinical trials” [source: Bloomberg Business] its good news for everyone. But wait, the research and testing of the vaccine is being funded by…. no other than…. the Bill Gates Foundation!. 

Connecting the dots:

  1. Gate’s sends out new and improved genetically modified mosquito in to the wild to (supposedly) eradicate traditional mosquito related diseases.
  2. Suddenly, Zika Virus springs up.
  3. Gate’s is funding the development of a vaccine for Zika. 

Make of this what you will – but I for one am a little concerned.

Please help educate everyone by sharing this article, and as always, thanks for reading. 


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