Genetically modified mosquitoes to be released in the Florida Keys to combat dengue, zika, and yellow fever.
The Florida Keys will be the scene of the first test in the United States with genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, an alternative to insecticides and larvicides to end the transmission of diseases such as dengue, zika and yellow fever that has always been surrounded by controversy. “The more weapons we have against the diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, the better,” Stanley Zuba, a pediatrician and vice president of the Keys Mosquito Control Board, told Efe. He has just authorized the biotechnology company Oxitec to test its mosquitoes “OX5034” after nearly ten years of back and forth.
Previously, Florida state authorities and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave the green light to the pilot test with the commercially named “Oxitec’s friendly mosquito, OX5034”. According to a study by EPA technicians, Oxitec’s mosquito “poses no risk to human health or the environment, including protected species.”
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