Mosquitos have been spreading diseases in every corner of the world for centuries. There are more than 3,500 different species of mosquitos, but only about 600 of those species bite humans. The rest of them like fruit and flowers. Mosquito eradication programs have been going on in places like the Cayman Islands and parts of Asian and Africa for years, but the recent outbreak of the Zika virus caused by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito is turning up the heat on mosquito eradication.
More than 1.5 million cases of Zika virus infections have been reported in Brazil, and there are millions of unreported cases in the country as well. And to makes matters worse, other South American countries and North American countries are reporting Zika virus outbreaks as well.
Dr. Sergio Cortes has been leading the fight against the Zika virus in Brazil ever since the first case was discovered in the state of Paraiba in April 2015. Dr. Cortes has been posting information about the outbreak ever since then on his official website. Cortes is dedicated to finding a vaccine for the Zika virus, but in the meantime, Brazil is using a deadly larvicide in the Northeastern region of the country to destroy the breeding grounds of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
According to sergiocortesoficial.com destroying the breeding grounds of mosquitos is a senseless task, according to environmentalist. The price to eradicate mosquitos is high considering the methods used to accomplish that goal. Brazil is using a larvicide developed by a Japanese company that alters the genetic code of newborn mosquitos. Those mosquitos are unable to breed and die quickly. But if that larvicide gets into the drinking water in rural areas, it could have a devastating impact on the children born to women that drank the infected water.
Other countries like the UK are experimenting with a genetically modified mosquito that would totally destroy the tiny villains that spread disease. Diseases like malaria, dengue, Zika, and other mosquito related diseases would disappear. But as Cortes mentions on his LinkedIn page, the Zika virus may not go away that quickly. Researchers believe the virus can lay dormant in the human body and come alive at some point in the future. Cortes also posted a Facebook article that brings up the possibility that the Zika virus can be transmitted through human contact. He also tweets about Zika facts to his followers.