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Sri Lanka to experiment genetically altered breed of mosquito to combat dengue

Sri Lankan president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has said the country will experiment with an imported genetically altered breed of mosquito designed to make female dengue mosquitoes sterile, local media reports said on Tuesday, December 17, 2019.

GM mosquitoes  Sri Lanka to experiment genetically altered breed of mosquito to combat dengue GM mosquito 1024x576
Sri Lanka wants to import genetically modified mosquitoes to combat the rising dengue virus

President Rajapaksa, speaking to newspaper editors, said that the importation was to combat the rising dengue virus.

He said that a sample of the mosquito breed had been brought to Sri Lanka “on an experimental basis,” and the new experiment was currently underway.

He further instructed all governors and health department workers to take immediate measures to combat the spread of dengue.

Sri Lanka’s health officials, earlier this week, warned of a dengue outbreak in the island country, as over 120 deaths have been reported so far this year and over 87,000 people affected from no less than 11 districts.

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Secretary of the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA), Haritha Aluthge, said that the GMOA had informed Health Minister, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, and the Secretary to the Ministry of Health of the seriousness of the issue.

Aluthge added that over 10 districts were affected by the rapidly increasing spread of the disease.

Continuous rains in many parts of the island country are one of the leading reasons for the spread of the virus.

Haritha said that Colombo, Gampaha, in the outskirts of the capital, and Kandy, in the central hills, were the worst affected districts, with 50 per cent of the total of over 87,000 numbers of cases reported.

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He also noted that for the first time an outbreak of dengue was also reported from the Jaffna District in the north. 

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