Ecuador releases 100,000 sterilized mosquitoes to slow virus transmission | Science and the planet

Ecuador wants to release 100,000 yellow fever sterilized mosquitoes in the Galapagos Islands. Authorities said on Friday that releasing sterile mosquitoes should prevent transmission of dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses.

This is the first time that unfertilized mosquitoes have been used on these islands to reduce the number of infections with these viruses among locals and tourists.

According to the National Institute of Public Health (Inspi), the health status of the population will improve and the transmission of diseases to tourists will be prevented. In addition, “the use of chemical products used in decontamination will also be reduced,” according to a statement from Inspi.

The Inspi researchers worked on the project for six years, which involved raising yellow fever mosquitoes in a laboratory and sterilizing them with radiation. Since the released mosquitoes cannot fertilize the females, the number of mosquitoes of this type decreases and so does the transmission of these diseases.

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