Part 3 of 3:
Approaches To Reduce Future Viral Infections
Will the eradication of mosquitoes eliminate viral illnesses?
Has it been proven the eradication of mosquitoes will decrease the diseases Dengue, Yellow Fever or Zika Virus?
Has it even been proven that using GM mosquitoes will reduce viruses transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes?
What is the viral transmission rate of GM mosquitoes to human hosts?
Answers to such questions would allay much public concern and fear about GM mosquitoes and pave a path for our future direction.
Instead, we are given reassurances from agencies that often wear the same hats as those they regulate.
Part 2 of this series raised the issue that our targets are misguided. Instead, we should target viruses (that are not considered living) rather than living insects. Mosquitos are vital to our ecosystem.
In addition, why had an outbreak occurred in areas where GMM were released? Why didn’t GMM mosquitoes prevent the Zika outbreak?
These are questions weighing on the public that need to be answered for GMM, to gain widespread public approval. Why have they not been answered?
Yet the WHO and the FDA have deemed it safe to use in light of the Zika epidemic. A spread caused not by mosquitoes but by a virus. Zika virus clearly mutated in Brazil, being now linked to microcephaly with sporadic cases transmitted sexually. Another feature unique to this mosquito-borne infection is it changed target to human offsprings and expanded its mode of transmission.
If recent patterns foretell the future then Zika will be one in a long line of such viruses.
Genetic mutation vs genetic modification?
Does Climate Change enhance genetic mutation?
Did the changes in the climate accelerate reproductive cycles of the mosquitoes as well as the virus?
And how do viruses adapt to genetically-modified mosquitoes? Male mosquitoes don’t bite, but what is the survival rate of GMM offsprings in different locations?
Instead of the eradication of mosquitoes, let us consider trying new approaches where short, medium and long term benefits are all possible.
I suggest a rapid mobilization of the training and certification of more labs to perform Zika testing. Rapid testing facilitates rapid diagnosis and thus prevents spread.
Improved infrastructure that raises the standard for all. Universal healthcare is necessary as well as updated, repaired and replaced sewage, sanitation and pipes. These are goals that should now start. It will not only provide short term benefit but also long term benefits, as marked reduction in infections are noted as well as some cancers and autoimmune diseases.
Our research focus should include the public concern. Research must not solely be based on the researchers’ interests, but those of the community involved should have equal weight.
Researchers are experts in their fields but the community is an expert in what it sees. Many researchers lack first- or even second-hand knowledge. Engaging the public in initiating research may change the direction and lead to meaningful and lasting solutions to problems. We live in connected environments.
Our focus should go beyond vaccines and develop ways humans can become unsavory to man’s greatest enemy, the virus itself.
Part 1 of 3: Could mutated Zika cause Microcephaly?
Part 2 of 3: The Problem Is NOT Mosquitos But Viruses
I hope the readers have been interested in all three parts of this subject. Please contact me if you questions or need more information about Zika.