Zika Virus

By: Eva Wood and Megan Sleep

Questions to be Answered:

  1. What is currently being done to eliminate the spread of Zika? Treatments, prevention, etc.
  2. Could we use GMO mosquitoes to remove the Zika carrying mosquito population?

Background Info

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What is currently being done to eliminate the spread of Zika?

The government is now able to identify the virus in an affected patient in the first week of obtaining the illness. They are also in the process of developing something that would be able to identify the virus prior to infection. They are making this a top priority and they're hopeful that they will come up with a solution soon.

Cdc.gov believes that the best way to help stop the spread would be to prevent contracting the virus in the first place. One thing that they suggested to do was to wear long shirts and pants, and stay indoors with the windows and screens closed. They also suggested that you should use insect repellent to prevent bites. Travelers that are returning to the States from an area with Zika should "take steps to prevent mosquito bites for 3 weeks so they do not spread Zika to mosquitoes that could spread the virus to other people." (cdc.gov)

Could we use GMO Mosquitoes to Remove the Zika Carrying Mosquito Population.

Yes, we think that scientists can use GMO mosquitoes to remove the Zika carrying mosquito population. In fact, they are in the process of doing that right now. They are putting a gene in these mosquitoes so when they reproduce with Zika carrying mosquitoes, it kills the offspring.

Some tests have shown that this procedure has lowered the populations of mosquitoes by 80% or more. "Florida has already shown success in reducing mosquito numbers in Brazil and other countries," theTimes reported. "Releasing modified mosquitoes into the wild might curb the Zika virus"But, it is a work in process and scientests think it won't be ready for a few more years.

Some people argue about the short and long term effects of killing off millions of mosquitoes. It is estimated that around 90% of Aedes aeypti, disease carrying mosquitoes, will die in only six months They say it will upset the balance of nature, but cdc.gov points out that the disease carrying mosquitoes aren't even a native species. So we believe that killing the mosquitoes will not only help those at risk for contracting the virus but have a positive affect on the envirment.

Where is Zika?

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Cited Sources

  • Pollack, Andrew. "New Weapon to Fight Zika: The Mosquito." The New York Times. The New York Times, 30 Jan. 2016. Web. 13 May 2016
  • "Support Grows for Genetically Modified Mosquitoes in Zika Fight."CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 16 Feb. 2016. Web. 13 May 2016.
  • "Zika+virus+map - Google Search." Zika+virus+map - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2016.
  • Wright, Laura. "Zika Virus: What Canadian Travellers Need to Know."CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 30 Jan. 2016. Web. 13 May 2016.

  • "MAP: The Spread of the Zika Virus." Traveller. N.p., 08 Feb. 2016. Web. 13 May 2016.

  • Healy, Melissa. " Five Ways Scientists Are Going after the Zika Virus." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2016. Web. 13 May 2016.

  • "Church Missionary Department Explains Approach to Zika Virus." N.p., 8 Feb. 2016. Web. 15 May 2016.