Health

Vietnam to release anti-dengue mosquitoes into wild

HANOI, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Vietnamese Ministry of Health (MoH) has planned to release mosquitoes with Wolbachia bacteria, a natural bacterium which is safe for human, into wild since March 2017 as part of the project to eliminate dengue in Vietnam.

The aim of the program is to spread Wolbachia into wild mosquito population to reduce the ability of transmitting diseases of these mosquitoes, local Sai Gon Giai Phong (Sai Gon Liberation) online newspaper quoted MoH as saying on Monday.

A smaller number of male and female mosquitoes with Wolbachia would be released over weeks and these mosquitoes will then mate with the wild mosquito population.

As the bacteria can be passed on from generation to generation and over time, the percentage of mosquitoes carrying Wolbachia grows until it remains high without any further releases. Mosquitoes with Wolbachia are less able to transmit viruses to people, so the risk of outbreaks of dengue and Zika in those areas will be reduced, said the MoH.

Before that, the MoH has approved the research to assess the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with Wolbachia in a small area in Vietnam's central Khanh Hoa province's Nha Trang City to prevent dengue and Zika.

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