WNV Positives And Air Neurotoxics
New York City Region
(See Graph For Entire Summer)
West Nile virus encephalitis is a neurological disease with wide-ranging symptoms: no symptoms, common cold, flu, GBS, meningitis, encephalitis (according to the NYCDOH). These are perceived as fever, nausea, headache, tremors, stiff neck, flaccid muscle, and paralysis. The symptoms and physiologies of chemically caused neurological disease can be the same as virus caused. Historically there has been a monumental series of arguments which have reached the Senate regarding which (viruses or neurotoxins) actually cause neurological disease and whether viruses are actually manifestations of poisoning. The proponents of the toxicological position were Drs. Biskind, Mobbs, Scobey, and others, re persistent organochlorines such as DDT, BHC. These arguments culminated during 1949-56, with the toxicologists being drowned out by a hyper-promoted Salk vaccine program. This history is today virtually unknown to the public, toxicology professionals, and medical industry. It serves, in part, as a basis for this study of the WNV epidemic in terms of neurotoxins.
Indicators Of Neurotoxins
Indicators of high levels of air neurotoxics can be: 1) Personal observations of haze, visibility, odor, nausea; 2) EPA AirNow maps (generalized averages, subject to revision); 3) Weather observations of haze and higher temperatures; 4) station monitors. Thus far, this timeline includes AirNow maps, weather, and some personal observation.
The Neurotoxic Epicenter
Clearly in Staten Island ("SI"), the presence of neurotoxins correlates with neurological disease (WNV-positives). The following AirNow map (one-hour average) of ground level ozone is July 21, 2000, the day before the first human West Nile virus case was hospitalized.
This first case was in southern Staten Island, where 8 of this year's 11 cases have occurred. 3 cases occurred in nearby Brooklyn.
An identical ozone map pattern appeared just before the second series of human cases. See Date000802.
As of August 4, 2000, over 500 dead birds had been reported from Staten Island. Yet as of August 10th, very few dead birds were reported from the other four boroughs (National Atlas Maps). This shows that the reporting of dead birds was not just a reaction to the media drama. Reporting probably would not have happened without the media's motivation (see Ward Stone's remarks on NYC animal reporting).
Of these hundreds of dead birds, by August 15th, Staten Island had 27 WNV-positive birds, Manhattan had 3 WNV-positive birds, and Queens had 3 WNV-positive birds. If WNV was found in such a small fraction of dead birds, then what was actually killing the birds?
I telephoned the NYCDOH regarding the non-WNV-positive birds and was told that they are of no interest and were discarded. The numbers above suggest that that the physiologies of many of the dead birds would bear similarities to the WNV-positive birds (non-violent death), therefore, if this is true or even could be true, then the NYCDOH and CDC are overlooking basic tenets of epidemiology such as Koch's postulates and commonsense, which state that the causative 'germ' must be found in all or at least most instances of the disease, especially during an epidemic.
To place the bird death mystery into another perspective, here is an analogy: What if 100 million people died suddenly in the U.S. during the last July/August, and WNV was associated with 5% of these deaths, would there be any further questions?
The only consistently present causative element was air neurotoxics.
The onsets of WNV are sporadic in both time and place. This violates Farr's law for infectious diseases, which states that an infectious disease epidemic must increase exponentially. The non-exponential and even non-linear increase with simultaneous onsets in distant locations is clearly the epidemiological signs of poisoning. Mosquitoes do not fly far. These widespread, simultaneous events are characteristic of poisoning, not of an infectious epidemic (Scobey, Science, 1954v51p117).
I have requested references to any toxicology studies pertinent to the epidemic and a spreadsheet of WNV activity from the NYCDOH. I was refused access. National Atlas maps informed me that raw data used to generate their WNV maps is not available to the public. WNV virologists Hubálek and Anderson were cordial regarding inquiries until I asked about WNV quantitative studies, basic logic, and toxicology, at which point they became silent, a common response from professionals. A friend, a neurologist (anonymous) told me that WNV is like HIV, a non-quantitative virus, not causal, but useful to industry. He regretted that in his profession, the larger picture is denied.
Bird and mosquito pool collections occur after WNV onset. The days after a fatal crow onset are probably few because the media publicity has alerted the public to the obviousness of a dead crow. WNV tests and report releases take 5 to 30 days, but usually are 8-15 days. For human cases, the date of hospitalization is used in the timeline.
The ozone season begins in May. the neurotoxin theory holds that WNV appears in June/July because of the accumulative affect of the neurotoxins, which reach their peak intensity in July/August. So two dynamics are in effect: 1) increasing sensitivity of animals to air toxic spikes as the summer goes on, and a correlation to the late-July ozone peak. See overall graph of year 2000 activity (to 9/8/00).
In the summer of 1999, there were 10 times as many human cases and 7 human deaths (not deaths in 2000). At least 3,000 bird deaths were reported without prompting by media drama and these reports began in mid- and late-June.
Since many of the WNV findings are not clearly documented by the NYCDOH, I inquired National Atlas and was told that the raw data was not publicly available. I'm now inquiring CDC and NYCDOH. The NYCDOH press office evaluates inquiries and has ignored my requests. My predictions of WNV activity are shown in the timeline, based only on AirNow maps.
"[na]" means that the found/collection date was not available and was estimated. "[range only]" means that only a range was provided and "dist" means that the activity was distributed through a range, as an estimation.
Columns are explained here:
Column Description1 Description2 H Humans Elderly, often on chemotherapy and/or toxic drugs. B Birds Crows, sparrows, kestrels, hawks, etc. ("miner's canaries") M Mosquito Pools mosqP=Mosquito pool collection O Other Horse, raccoon, squirrel, etc. S Significant Weather (Visual). All weather data comes from Newark International Airport, NW of Staten Island FG=Fog, B/BR=Mist, H/HZ=Haze, TS=Thunderstorm, DZ=Drizzle, Top#=Precip. T Temperature Max, Avg, Wet Bulb W Wind Resultant wind speed, Resultant wind direction Haze This informal index (range 100) is useful when AirNow maps do not indicate smog and yet haze (an indicator of smog) is observed. Haze index is calculated from weather reports at Newark International Airport. The index formula incorporates the following: Temperature increases the inter-reactivity of smog, forming neurotoxic aromatic nitros. Lower visibility means higher density of haze. Rain removes smog. The perception of fog and mist can overlap the perception of haze so some lesser value is given these in the actual formula. Essentially: