The “mystery virus” – not a mystery after all?

The “mystery virus” that’s affecting children all across the country is apparently not so mysterious after all.  A Powerline reader explains.

This is basically the same virus commonly seen in the equatorial Americas and South America. The very odd emergence of this virus at this time – especially just prior to the new school year and now fueled by the congregation of children in schools – demands an explanation. The only plausible one is that this has been brought here from south of the – now non-existent – border.

Although there will be a good deal of epidemiological work to be done before this can be scientifically associated, there is a deafening silence on the part of public health officials and the mainstream media in even speculating about this association. This is not simply a case of being politically selective about the news, it is downright dangerous and could be just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the emergence of diseases long absent from daily life in America now suddenly popping up “inexplicably.”

There’s more at the link.  It’s worth reading in full, for your childrens’ health’s sake if nothing else.



  1. Really, the only plausible explanation is illegal immigration? Guess all the illegal Asian pigs swimming the Pacific were behind swine flu, H1N1, SARS, etc. It's not a freaking mystery – enteroviruses like rhinoviruses are everywhere, they mutate all the time, and they cause increased work of breathing for people with pre-existing respiratory problems. This isn't a "disease absent from daily life in America", it's cold and flu season starting up the same way it kicks off every single year, with kids going back to school and spreading it around.

    And is this the same Chris Foley who blogs at Minnesota natural medicine? The crackpot vaccine denier who's never met a patient without Lyme disease, proven by $400 testing from an unaccredited lab? What a great source on which to base a ridiculous accusation…..

  2. @Jake: With respect, look up the definition of an argument 'ad hominem'. Try here for a start:

    That's what you're doing by attacking Dr. Foley personally, rather than what he claims.

    If this 'mystery virus' does, indeed, prove to be the same as that which has been circulating in Central and South America for many years, I suggest that his point will have been proven, irrespective of his personal views.

  3. Illegal immigration seems like a bit of an extreme logical leap. Could it be? Sure. But in today's world there are plenty of other ways that such a virus could spread. It seems a little strange to me that people jump immediately to immigrants. If anything, the long time it takes to cross the border makes it less likely.

    I'm going to go with tourism on this one. A whole bunch of kids coming back from vacation and mingling with all of their classmates. Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, they're all popular vacation spots these days. Just another case of air travel allowing people to move around while a disease is still in the incubation period.

  4. Considering that NO screening is taking place and these 'children' are being scattered far and wide, it IS the more logical SWAG than any other option I've heard. And before somebody goes off, an illegal in the Sacramento school system gave 9 other high school kids TB earlier this year. He'd never been checked, and they were doing their damnest to cover that up!

  5. To be completely honest, I'm 100% ok with the media not speculating on anything. We all know what the media actually knows about anything couldn't fill a picture book, so any speculation on their part is likely to be both wrong and completely mis-directed. Remember, it's media speculation that turns every shooter in this country into a closeted racist redneck with a grudge against obama and "teh geys", even though most of the time that turns out to be nothing even close to the truth. I say let the media not speculate, it's probably the best thing they can do.

  6. +1 NFO

    *IF* you've ever traveled extensively, -OR- had contact with a constantly changing crew on a ship, you'd be amazed at the "things" you come down with.

    The first three months at the new job I had 10 years ago, I was "exposed" to a rotating crew on a ship that consisted of Norwegians, Russians, Ukrainians, Filipinos, and others.

    I got the "flu" several times, and my Doctor was mystified until I told him where I was working, and who my crewmates were.

    He said there wasn't much I could do about it, and I was lucky I was at least being exposed to people who DIDN'T come from third-world countries….

  7. Peter, the source emphasizes that Chris Foley is a medical doctor with years of experience, establishing an argument from authority to make this seem like something other than groundless speculation by a faceless internet user. If his credentials are based on vaccine denial and the sales of his own brands of 'complementary' medicine, I respectfully submit that the original argument is deceptive and flawed.

    The causative agent here seems to be human enterovirus 68, which has been isolated in the US, Europe and Asia in clusters over the last 6 years and was first isolated in California in the 60's, according to Medscape – it's not specifically tied to South America or illegal immigration and it's present all over the world. The author cites a paper which demonstrates that in 3400 samples of sick kids taken across South America, HEV-68 was found in 30 cases, mostly in tropical rainforests. Most kids with the symptoms of a cold are never tested for viral strain even in developed nations, and the technology to identify specific strains has been pretty hit-and-miss before around 2001 – lots of hospitals still just use a system that reports "rhinovirus-enterovirus positive" and doesn't subtype. Cases are also surging in much of Canada, which doesn't seem to have too many issues with illegal Latin American migration.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *