Panama’s Ministry of Health announced on Monday that they would be releasing genetically modified mosquitos in order to help combat the increasing severe problem of dengue virus spread by mosquitos. There’s been almost 2,000 confirmed cases of dengue and 7 deaths since the issue was brought to an alarming level.
Dengue is one of the fastest-growing tropical diseases in the world and has been classified by the World Health Organization as representing a ”˜’pandemic threat,” with nearly half of the world’s population at risk of contraction.
The genetically modified mosquitos will all be male and carry genes that disrupt reproductive capability. Male mosquitos also only feed off of nectar so they will not be a threat to people.
The mosquitos will first be released Arraijan, about 18 km from Panama City.