Houston Matters

Is Total Eradication of Mosquitoes Possible?

On a recent program, we discussed funding — or the lack thereof — to combat the Zika virus at the city and county levels. A lot of that discussion surrounded preventing the proliferation of Aedes aegypti — the type of mosquito that carries the virus. Of course, it’s unrealistic to think we could just completely […]

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito. Photo: CDC/Prof. Frank Hadley Collins.On a recent program, we discussed funding — or the lack thereof — to combat the Zika virus at the city and county levels. A lot of that discussion surrounded preventing the proliferation of Aedes aegypti — the type of mosquito that carries the virus. Of course, it’s unrealistic to think we could just completely wipe out that type of mosquito — or is it?

The idea might not be so far-fetched. Dr. Peter Hotez at Baylor College of Medicine says there have been previous successes with eliminating a particular kind of mosquito in nearly 20 Latin American countries between the 1940s and 1960s.

We talk with Dr. Hotez about those efforts in Central America and what it would take to duplicate that here.

(Above: A female Aedes aegypti mosquito. Photo: CDC/Prof. Frank Hadley Collins.)

MORE:
Zika in the US and a Fateful 1969 Decision (PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, May 26, 2016)
Two-Pronged Strategy to Tackle Spread of Zika Virus (Baylor College of Medicine, Jan, 28, 2016)

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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