Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Battle Zika Virus in Brazil
20 Jan, 2016
Jim Gathany / Reuters
In an effort to curb the spread of the Zika virus, a UK-based company has partnered up with Brazilian authorities to introduce genetically modified sterile mosquitoes into the wild to reduce the population and the threat of the virus spreading to humans.
The Zika virus is spread to people through aedes aegypti mosquito bites. Once contracted the illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. The most common symptoms of Zika virus are disease are a fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis.
While most cases of the disease are hardly ever noticed, pregnant women fall under a special category of risk. If infected their newborn children could be prone to microcephaly, a neurological disorder that results in abnormally small heads, leading to developmental issues and sometimes death.