Man Vs Pest The Ongoing War Against Mosquitoes
We must never let ourselves feel as though we are being defeated in the war against mosquitoes. Although it may sometimes feel that these tiny critters that are responsible for the transmission of deadly diseases are winning, we have science on our side! Old methods that are still effective but perhaps need a little helping hand from innovation are not to be snubbed. However, does science have the answer when it comes to finding new ways that we can beat these suckers!
Insect-borne illnesses are on the march, as the bugs that carry them are spreading out and getting harder to kill. In response, scientists are looking for new, high-tech tools to prevent them from spreading those diseases. In California, researchers are trying to change the genes of mosquitoes to prevent them from carrying the parasites that cause malaria. And in Brazil and Southeast Asia, scientists are working to infect mosquitoes with bacteria that keep them from spreading dengue fever, a sometimes deadly virus that’s reaching beyond its typical tropical range.
Mosquito borne diseases kill thousands of people each year. Here’s how genetic engineering could possibly assist in eradicating these.
The debate is of course, should the technology be used? Is it worth the risk to put out into the ecosystem a genetically modified mosquito? Or should the question be… is it worth the risk not to?
Mosquitoes are some of the most deadly creatures on the planet. They carry viruses, bacteria and parasites, which they transmit through bites, infecting some 700 million people and killing more than 1 million each year. With international travel, migration and climate change, these infections are no longer confined to tropical and subtropical developing countries. Pathogens such as West Nile virus and Zika virus have caused significant outbreaks in the United States and its territories that are likely to continue, with new invasive pathogens being discovered all the time.
Whatever views individuals may have on these genetically modified pests, the most important thing to remember, right now, is to be safe. Protect yourself from mosquitoes at all times. These critters are not going away, and there are more and more of them every year. Put together your best defense in this ongoing war of Man Vs Pest.