Home > Articles > Support grows for genetically modified mosquitoes in Zika fight

Support grows for genetically modified mosquitoes in Zika fight

It may be necessary to use controversial methods like genetically modified mosquitoes to wipe out the insects that are now spreading Zika across the Americas, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

The virus has been linked to a spike in babies born with abnormally small heads, or microcephaly, in Brazil and French Polynesia. WHO has declared Zika a global emergency even though there is no definitive proof it is causing the birth defects.

Next week, WHO chief Dr. Margaret Chan will travel to Brazil to discuss Zika and microcephaly with the country's health minister and other officials, spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said on Tuesday.

In a statement, WHO said its advisory group has recommended further field trials of genetically modified mosquitoes, following trials in the Cayman Islands to fight dengue, where sterile male mosquitoes were released to mate with wild females.

"Given the magnitude of the Zika crisis, WHO encourages affected countries...to boost the use of both old and new approaches to mosquito control as the most immediate line of defense," the agency said in a statement.

Read full article here: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/genetically-modified-mosquitoes-zika-virus-f...