People so wedded to a hoax, or just wrong, view of events cannot be swayed away from their convictions easily.
Elizabeth Whelan’s hoax science policy group, the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), put out a press release taking note of the study published in Lancet that calls into question the count of malaria deaths in India promulgated by the World Health Organization (WHO). You remember, the study suggests the malaria death toll among adults in India may be as high as 200,000 annually, compared to the 15,000 estimated by WHO.
ACSH can’t resist the spin. Implicit the debunking may be, but the study thoroughly debunks ACSH’s claim that more DDT will help defeat malaria. India is the world’s greatest user of DDT, using more than all the rest of the world together. Clearly a surplus usage of DDT has not created the miracle end to malaria that ACSH and other hoaxsters claim it would.
Still, ACSH sticks to their views, even when those views are grossly wrong. ACSH said, “ACSH has called for resumed use of indoor residual spraying of small amounts of DDT to prevent mosquito bites, repel mosquitoes, and reduce malaria deaths.”
No word from India on whether it will dramatically reduce DDT use to meet ACSH’s call for “small amounts.”
ACSH’s press release calls attention to a Wall Street Journal Blog article describing WHO’s response to the Lancet-published study of India malaria deaths — WHO questions the “verbal autopsy” methodology, and says it stands by its estimates of malaria deaths in the nation:
“The new study uses verbal autopsy method which is suitable only for diseases with distinctive symptoms and not for malaria,” WHO’s India representative Nata Menabde said in an email statement Thursday.
The WHO says it takes into account only confirmed cases of malaria and surveys those using healthcare facilities.
Malaria symptoms include fever, flu-like illness and muscle aches. Malaria is endemic to parts of India, where many people live in mosquito-infested areas. Confirming the presence of malaria requires tests like the “Peripheral Smear for Malarial Parasite” and “Rapid Malaria Antigen”.
Lancet said the determinations made by its field researchers were reviewed by two of 130 trained doctors for all the 6,671 districts who determined whether or not the person had died from malaria.
The data concluded that 205,000 deaths before the age of 70, mainly in rural areas, were caused by malaria each year – 55,000 in early childhood, 30,000 among children ages five to 14 and 120,000 people 15 and older.
The WHO called for further review of the study.
“Malaria has symptoms common with many other diseases and cannot be correctly identified by the local population,” Dr. Menabde said, adding: “The findings of the study cannot be accepted without further validation.”