Unfortunately, the confusion about Zika’s link with microcephaly — which causes babies to be born with dangerously small heads — has spawned a number of conspiracy theories as to how the virus arose and other potential causes of microcephaly. Here are five of the most prominent.
1. The Zika virus was created by a British Biotech company while building genetically modified mosquitos designed to eradicate dengue fever.
It’s true that scientists are using genetically-modified mosquitoes, but the lab-designed insects are designed to compete with the Zika-carrying species in the wild and hopefully push their populations down.
2. The CDC is the medical CIA, and the entire virus is a scam.
This one is taking a twofer of giant leaps, establishing a CDC connection with the CIA and simultaneously stating that the whole virus is a hoax. The theorists claim that there are only six confirmed cases of Zika linked to microcephaly, and therefore the whole virus is an overblown hoax. In reality, there are 41 cases of microcephaly linked to Zika, with over 4,000 cases that still need to be investigated. We’ll file this one under “woah there, let’s let the scientists do their jobs first.”
3. The Zika virus was created (and patented) by the Rockefeller family in order to kill millions of people.
The subheading to this article is “According to WHO ‘Zika virus expands explosively’ and the infectious agent, possibly genetically modified mosquitoes Panda foremen psychopaths who control world power, is already present in 23 countries in Latin America.” Make of that what you will.
The main evidence for this one comes from a screenshot of the ATCC Product Page for the Zika virus. Yes, you can buy the Zika virus online, because sometimes scientists do research on viruses, and need to buy samples. They don’t sell to just anyone off the street.
4. Chemtrails are altering your DNA (and … also giving you Zika?).
Ah, the old standby. Chemtrails are like the Swiss-Army knife of conspiracy theories. They’re simple, easily recognizable (if you believe the government is trying to kill you with clouds of condensation), extremely well known, and pretty much applicable to anything. At this point, it doesn’t seem like the chemtrails people are trying very hard, as they’ve just transcribed a perfectly coherent Scientific American article about Zika and put ALL CAPS messages at the top and bottom about chemtrails and some Ecuadorian study and a three-hour video proving it (which we couldn’t find a link to on the page).
5. Microcephaly is caused by a Monsanto-supplied larvicide, and not the Zika virus.
To be fair, this was a pretty good one. With the effects of Zika still unclear and the link to microcephaly still relatively unproven, a semi-coherent theory like this one had plenty of room to swoop in. The link to Monsanto, Neil Young’s favorite mega-corporate punching bag, was slipped in when a group of doctors from the Argentina-based group University Network of Environment and Health blamed the microcephaly cases on contamination from a larvicide produced by another major chemical company, who conspiracy theorists incorrectly linked to Monsanto. It was subtle enough to catch major online celebrity George Takei, and prompted the Brazilian government to halt use of the particular larvicide. Still, the Brazilian government, U.S. Health officials, and other top scientists all agree that this one, like the rest, is without scientific merit.