The Phaserl


Genetically Modified Mosquitoes win FDA Approval to Fight Zika

by Julie Fidler, Natural Society:

As health officials predicted, the Zika virus is beginning to spread across south Florida, and now a type of genetically modified (GM) mosquito designed to fight the virus has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). [1]

While the threat of being infected with the Zika virus is still considered low in the United States, residents of an area just north of Miami are on edge after it was revealed that mosquitoes, rather than humans, have begun transmitting the illness to people there.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warned women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant and their partners to steer clear of the Wynwood neighborhood north of downtown Miami after more than a dozen people had been infected with Zika there by mosquitoes.

Prenatal exposure to Zika has been shown to cause microcephaly, a rare birth defect, in children.

On August 5, the FDA announced it had approved a field test of GM mosquitoes to help combat the Zika virus.

The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are engineered by Oxitec Ltd. so that their offspring die before they can reproduce. [2]

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