• Saturday, Nov 23, 2019
  • Last Update : 02:41 am

A way out

  • Published at 10:54 pm August 4th, 2019
Photo: BIGSTOCK
Photo: BIGSTOCK

We cannot rely on traditional techniques to fight the dengue menace any longer

With dengue currently running rampant across the nation, and 2,100 people having been infected between January and June this year alone, the problem can be called nothing short of an epidemic.

Of course, most of the administrative efforts taken to contain the deadly disease thus far have been ad hoc and reactionary at best, relying on mosquito repellents with reportedly low rates of eradication. What’s worse are recent reports of how the the specific breed of the aedes mosquito have grown resistant to the insecticides.

This is worrying.

Having said that, we may finally be on the verge of a permanent solution to the dengue problem. An answer potentially lies in the government’s recent experiments with sterile mosquitoes. Bred in laboratories, these sterile mosquitoes can help suppress the population of the dengue vector aedes.

The hypothesis is simple: The lab grown mosquitoes are sterilized using radiation and released into the wild and produce no offspring despite mating, leading to a declining population of the insect.

This process has proven successful in China, where the Sterile Insect Technique successfully contained the dengue menace in the country’s most populous province, Guangdong. While it is unlikely that the method would be ready in time to curb the existing dengue crisis, it will, hopefully, prove fruitful in the long run.

Ultimately, diseases are organic and thus have the ability to adapt to any form of change. As such, we cannot rely on traditional techniques to fight the dengue menace any longer. We need to be more forward-thinking in the fight against dengue, and it is good to know that the administration is already planning ahead.