According to some new reports, Argentina is employing radiation to sterilize mosquitoes before releasing them right back into the wild in order to combat one of the biggest dengue epidemics the area has seen in the past few years.
As you may be aware, more than 41,000 cases of the mosquito borne illness have been reported in the South American nation this year alone.
This is significantly more than the equivalent level registered in other years with large outbreaks, such as 2016 and 2020 according to government statistics.
National Atomic Energy Commission biologist Marianela Garcia Alba says that “This mosquito, because if the rise in temperature in our country and over the world… is able to spread more. Their populations keeps on moving further south,” said CNEA (National Atomic Energy Commission) biologist Marianela Garcia Alba.
As it turns out, Argentina researchers are planning on putting an end to dengue by using an experimental nuclear sterilizing method.
Since 2016, CNEA scientists have begun testing atomic sterilization as a defense. With a goal of reaching 500,000, they are now sterilizing 10,000 males every week.
The initial release of male sterilized males is anticipated for November of this year.
Garcia Alba pointed out that “They are sterilized through ionizing energy and then, the sterile males are freed into the fields and when they encounter a wild female, their offspring are not viable. This way, by this successive release of such males we will be able to reduce the population of the vector mosquito.”
If successful, the method is definitely welcome as Aedes aegypti mosquito bites are the main means of dengue transmission.
Fever, headache, muscular and joint discomfort, nausea, vomiting, and exhaustion are some of its most often found symptoms.
For decades, attempts to manage illnesses such as chikungunya, Zika, as well as dengue, have benefited from the use of similar methods in order to sterilize pests by employing the exact same radiation found in X-rays.