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Article on combating the Zika virus

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2/4/2016 8:02:35 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
I am fortunate enough to be sick with food poisoning, so to pass the time, I am going to give my opinions on each of the potential methods of dealing with the Zika virus suggested in this NewScientist article

1. Don't get bitten
Obviously, this is a very simple, but effective means of preventing the Zika virus from spreading via mosquito (Which is its primary means of transmission), as the article states, many people won't/aren't able to afford basic repellent, which is why the Zika virus will spread through poorer regions, much more quickly. In order to prevent this, groups associated with combating the Zika virus should try to distribute repellent among these poorer populations.

2. Eliminate mosquito
I am usually very reluctant to the idea of wiping out such large amounts of a species (I quite admire mosquitoes, they have survived since the Cretaceous period and won't be gone for a long time), especially such a common species which could potentially be very linked to the food chain, but as the Brazilian government has already nearly exterminated them before (With no known effect on the ecosystem?), it doesn't seem likely that major harm will occur again. As such, this seems like a viable strategy.

3. Modify mosquitoes
I love the idea behind this, but obviously, this requires sufficient time to get the GM mosquitoes declared safe to be introduced into the original population (As you would with any other genetically modified organism).

4. Enlist bacteria
Another very clever idea, but as the article states, it isn't yet known if Wolbachia will repress the Zika virus in mosquitoes to any significant extent.

5. Gene drive
Same opinion as "Modify mosquitoes".

6. Make a vaccine
Always one of the best options, but it will take a while (Years), so other options must be used in the mean time.

7. Don't get pregnant
Fairly obvious idea, people will still get pregnant regardless, but if they understand the risks, then there will be fewer people, so fewer defective infants. I like the little comment about Churchs ban on contraception just as a FYI c:

Fairly interesting stuff on NewScientist. Opinions?