A Genetically Tweaked Mosquito Could Help Slow Down The Spread Of The Zika Virus In The U.S. But The FDA Won’t Test It According To Brazilian Doctor Sergio Cortes

There is another story in the news on Noticias R7 every day about the Zika virus, and those stories aren’t good news. The stories range from babies suffering from microcephaly, the disease that causes brain damage and skull retardation in fetuses, to adults dealing with the paralyzing disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome. And the stories that claim the Zika virus is not only being spread by the female but also by sexual contact are causing more panic. More and more evidence shows that humans can give the Zika virus to other humans. And the not only that. Infected people can give the virus to mosquito that bite them that don’t have the Zika virus, according to Brazilian medical expert Sergio Cortes.

The old method of eradicating the breeding grounds for the Aedes aegypti mosquito have failed. According to an article posted by R7.com, Dr. Cortes thinks there are billions of infected mosquitoes thriving in cities around the world. Spraying harmful chemicals in suspected breeding areas isn’t working. The main reason is Aedes aegypti mosquito can breed in tires, flower pots, bottle caps, tin cans and just about any other water holding vessel. The thought of using a spray to eradicate the female pests is wishful thinking, according to Dr. Cortes.

Several companies around the world are working on a vaccine to stop the spread of the Zika virus, but an effective vaccine won’t be available to treat the number of potential victims in the United States in 2016. The President of the United States wants Congress to allocate $1.8 billion to fight the spread of Zika, but the lawmakers aren’t convinced the epidemic will materialize in the U.S., according to a post on the Dr. Cortes LinkedIn page.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is also standing in the way of preventing the kind of outbreak that Brazil has experienced, according to a Dr. Cortes Facebook post. There is a vital tool available to dramatically reduce the Aedes aegypti mosquito population and it’s called genetically engineered mosquitoes. These hi-tech mosquitoes resemble Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, but they have been genetically altered. They need the drug tetracycline to survive. Without that drug they die and their off springs die as well. Releasing genetically altered male mosquitoes has shown a marked reduction in mosquito populations where it has been tested. Male mosquitoes don’t bite so there is no health risk to humans, according to a Dr. Cortes tweet.

Brazil has approved this eradication method, but the FDA won’t even approve a test. There is internal bickering going on between and FDA and the Agriculture Department. Americans will suffer with the Zika virus this summer because the FDA and the Agriculture Department can’t agree on a sensible method to help eradicate the main source of a pending epidemic.