Tests of nuclear "pest control" for Zika mosquito forthcoming

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The IAEA, in partnership with FAO, spearheads global research in the development of the sterile insect technique and its application against mosquitoes (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

A decision on when to start field trials of a nuclear technique to stop the spread of the Zika virus will be made next month.

The announcement was made by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which describes the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) as a type of "pest control" that uses radiation to neuter male flies and other insects.

SIT has already been used around the world and the UN agency said field trials will help study its effectiveness on the Aedes aegypti mosquito which transmits the Zika virus.

More than 30 countries have been affected by Zika, which causes birth defects in newborns and certain neurological disorders in adults.

Steve Thachet has been speaking to Luis Carlos Longoria, Director of the Division for Latin America and the Caribbean in the IAEA's Department of Technical Cooperation.

Duration: 2’53″

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