Spread of the Zika Virus
How could the Zika virus be taken down?
What is currently being done to eliminate the spread of Zika? Prevention? treatments?
To eliminate the spread of Zika scientist are constantly studying the everything about it, the CDC(Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has "boots on the ground responding"(blogs.cdc.gov) and helping to stop Zika. CDC.gov says some ways to prevent from getting Zika are "Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside. Take steps to control mosquitos inside and outside your home. Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites. To protect your child from mosquito bites: Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than 3 years old. Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs. Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting. Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin. Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items.Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See product information to learn how long the protection will last.If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.Do NOT use permethrin products directly on skin. They are intended to treat clothing. " There is currently no known treatment to cure Zika.
How or could we use GMO mosquitos to eliminate the Zika carrying population? What would be long and short term effect of the GMO mosquitos?
Scientists already are using GMO mosquitoes to take down the Zika virus. The Guardian reports that a British biotech company called Oxitec has deployed millions of mosquitoes to fight Zika in Brazil, Cayman Islands, and Panama. They released many male mosquitoes, which do not bite, so they will mate with the females. But the new offspring will not survive to adulthood which will dramatically reduce the population of Zika carrying mosquitoes. Once the GMO mosquitoes job is done, the mosquito population would be very low. This means that many birds and bats will lose a food source. But that is a short term effect with many fixes, like breeding more mosquitoes. But long term, it would kill off the Zika virus for a very long time.
Lab mosquitoes: (CBS 2016)
Scientists: (123RF Limited 2005-2016)