Mosquitoes are deadly pests, genetically-modified mosquitoes could help stop disease

T. Browne,  ClickOrlando,  2021.

Hearing the words “genetically modified mosquitoes” can sound like the plot for a science-fiction movie but Meredith Fenson, a native Floridian turned biological pest control specialist says, “mosquitoes are the world’s deadliest animal by far” and a study happening right now in the Florida Keys could help change the tide. Fenson works as the head of global public affairs for Oxitec and sat down with News 6 anchors Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden on Florida’s Fourth Estate podcast to talk about how genetically modified mosquitoes work, concerns surrounding their release and Oxitec’s plans to release more in the future. Aedes Aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito, only makes up about 4% of the population in the Florida Keys but Fenson says they are responsible for virtually all the diseases spread from mosquitoes to humans. She says this includes Zika, dengue fever and Chikungunya.

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