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Mosquitoes carrying Wolbachia to be released today

July 15, 2018 7:14 pm

The officials of the World Mosquito Program have identified the hot spots for dengue fever where the Wolbachia mosquitoes will be released first.

The first batch of Aedes aegypti mosquito, carrying Wolbachia bacteria will be released along with the roadsides between the Lami to Nausori corridor today.

The releases will be ongoing every week.

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World Mosquito Program Project Coordinator, Aminiasi Tavui says Wolbachia are natural bacteria present in up to 60% of insect species, including some mosquitoes.

“This bacteria is known as the good bacteria. It is present in cockroaches, fruit flies, in butterflies and even in mosquitoes. But the unfortunate thing is that it is not present in the mosquito that spreads dengue, zika and chikungunya.”

Project Manager, Geoff Wilson says results from similar projects in other countries show that natural Wolbachia method is self-sustaining up to seven years after they were released.

“Everywhere that we have worked so far where we have established Wolbachia in an area we have virtually seen no local transmission which is great results and we are hoping for similar results here in the Suva/Nausori corridor.”

Over seven million dollars is being spent on piloting the project across Fiji, Vanuatu and Kiribati.

The next phase will be carried out in the West next year.

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