Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Released in Brazil to Fight Hemorrhagic Fever

prettyawfulthings

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In this Brazilian farm town where legions of people have suffered from dengue fever, a campaign is fighting back, releasing swarms of mosquitoes engineered to wipe out their own species.

Last year, Brazil reported 1.4 million cases of dengue. There is no vaccine. The most severe form of the illness, dengue hemorrhagic fever, can lead to shock, coma and death.

The insects are genetically modified in a laboratory with a lethal gene designed to devastate the Aedies aegypti population and reduce dengue’s spread. [C]onventional public health campaigns to fight dengue by fumigating and adding larvicide to water tanks have had little impact because Aedes aegypti often live and breed inside homes and develop resistance to insecticides.

As noted in the article, in the U.S. or especially Europe, the outrage would be palpable, but in Brazil, where all other means have been tried and failed, there’s barely even the…

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