A debate is emerging about the potential use of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes to combat dengue in the United States and in other countries around the world. Most recently, news out of Brazil indicated that the country plans to breed GM mosquitoes to stop the spread of dengue.
Brazil’s health ministry recently announced its plan to breed genetically modified mosquitoes to stop the spread of dengue fever. According to news reports, scientists are focusing intensely on mosquito control because there is currently no vaccine to protect against dengue.
Sri Lanka is one of the latest countries to experience an alarming rise in dengue cases. Recent news out of the country has been filled with stories of dengue prevention efforts and updates on the rapid spread of the disease.
Tyler Sharp, an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer at CDC’s Dengue Breach, shared his experience as a member of the response team in an interesting two-part blog series entitled, “Real-life Contagion: Governments unite to fight dengue outbreak in Marshall Islands.” (The series was published in December 2011 shortly after the Hollywood thriller Contagion was released. The movie documented the spread of a virus and the attempts of public health officials to contain the disease. )