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Battling Mosquitos with the Diseases they give us

Battling Mosquitos with the Diseases they give us

When it comes to population control and elimination of mosquitos the last thing you might ever expect is to release more of these beasts than there already are in the United States. But that is precisely the proposal given by a number of scientific groups as a method of eliminating the diseases that these insects spread.

Mosquitos are one of the major disease ridden species that plague humanity, with a few dozen possible diseases carried by these insects and even more they pick up from people and then spread to other people. This makes them not only a nuisance for many people, but actually a health risk. Diseases such as West Nile and Dengue have been on the rise because of the spread of mosquitos more than anything else.

So the solution, is actually to introduce more disease-ridden mosquitos into the world. Particularly a batch of mosquitos that come with a virus already in their system known as Wolbachia. This virus isn’t nearly as deadly or dangerous as the others, and actually doesn’t present much of a problem to humans. It also has the added benefit of slowly killing off the mosquitos, and preventing them from obtaining other diseases such as Dengue.

The process could take nothing more than a few months to replace every mosquito with this infected Wolbachia in a single area. So mosquitos would still be around, but they wouldn’t be a health risk anymore. The only thing holding this plan back is the mere costs of infecting and then releasing these mosquitos into breeding areas so that they could replace every mosquito with these infected ones. Worldwide it would take thousands of mosquitos released every week for a few months, but the initial costs might be worth it at least until a more direct solution is uncovered for handling the viruses that the mosquitos spread, rather than the mosquitos themselves.

Who knows, maybe in a few decades everyone will think of mosquitos about as much as they do flies. An annoyance but not a danger.

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