Fighting Dengue Virus with Biological Weapons

Z. Ebrahim,  Inter Press Service,  2021.

For the last 11 years, he has been trying to convince both the provincial and central governments of making “billions of mosquitoes in labs”, which when released in the wild, could reduce the spread of dengue virus, but with little luck. The released genetically engineered male (only) mosquitoes, when they mate with Aedes females (also the carrier of the virus), would produce offspring that would die while still at larvae or pupae stage, explained Ali, the only Pakistani with a doctorate in genetically modified mosquitoes. In addition, genetic modifications, he said, can also shorten the life span, cause sterility and even death of the transformed Aedes species. However, those who can decide have dawdled for too long with the result that the virus has gone out of control, he remarked. He has been trying to draw attention but with little success. “They [government officials] tell me if word gets out the government was fighting the virus by letting loose even more mosquitoes, they will have to confront the wrath of the public!”

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