APRIL 28 2021 FLORIDA WILL BEGIN RELEASING GENETICALLY MODIFIED MOSQUITOES THIS WEEK TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF AEDES AEGYPTI MOSQUITOES AND CONTROL THE SPREAD OF DISEASES SUCH AS DENGUE FEVER, ZIKA VIRUS AND YELLOW FEVER.
Florida will release about 144,000 male mosquitoes designed by Oxford Insect Technologies in the coming weeks to mate with the female Aedes aegypti mosquito, making it impossible for its offspring to survive, NBC 27 reported.
After years of public comment and review, the project was approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Board, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
“The Aedes aegypti mosquito is became more resistant to some of the current control methods, and we need new tools to deal with them,” said Andrea Leal, executive director of the Mosquito Control District of the Florida Keys. ”
The Aedes aegypti mosquito transmits dengue, Zika and yellow fever, as well as heartworms to animals.
“The Aedes aegypti mosquito accounts for about 4 per cent of the total number of mosquitoes in the archipelago, but it is actually responsible for all mosquito-borne infections,” Mr Lyle said. “This is not the first time the Florida government has authorized a new method to kill the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
As early as 2017 and 2018, Key West and Miami released male mosquitoes carrying Wolbachia, making it impossible for their offspring to survive.