MOS­QUI­TOES IN THE FIGHT TO ELIM­I­NATE DENGUE ACROSS THE SHIRE

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

The Elmi­nate Dengue Pro­gram is wrap­ping up across Dou­glas Shire, with hun­dreds of releases of Aedes ae­gypti mos­qui­toes car­ry­ing Wol­bachia virus over the last three months. Pic­tured is field de­ploy­ment of­fi­cer An­gela Caird hold­ing a batch of soon-to-be re­leased dengue fight­ers, with en­vi­ron­men­tal health of­fi­cer Louise Stayte and Dou­glas Shire man­ager sus­tain­able com­mu­ni­ties Paul Hoye.

DOU­GLAS Shire’s small­est new res­i­dents are mak­ing them­selves at home, with the Elim­i­nate Dengue Pro­gram wrap­ping up releases of mos­qui­toes with Wol­bachia this week.

For the last three months, the Elim­i­nate Dengue pro­gram’s ini­tia­tive has been work­ing with the help of Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil to re­lease a small num­ber of mos­qui­toes across Port Dou­glas, Cooya Beach, Mossman, North Mossman and Mossman Gorge, as part of a ground­break­ing pro­gram aimed at re­duc­ing the risk of dengue, Zika and other mos­quito-borne dis­eases world­wide.

Field trial man­ager Dr Tim Hurst said re­sults from the Dou­glas Shire project are show­ing strong signs of suc­cess.

“We are find­ing that most of the Aedes ae­gypti mos­qui­toes (dengue mos­qui­toes) in these ar­eas now carry Wol­bachia, which is ex­actly what we want to see at this stage of the project,” Dr Hurst said. “A unique as­pect of our method is that it is sus­tain­able, which means we ex­pect to see Wol­bachia lev­els con­tinue to in­crease, and re­main high into the fu­ture.”

“We feel con­fi­dent that we will see sim­i­lar re­sults here as we have in Cairns and Townsville, where, to date, there has been no ev­i­dence of lo­cal dengue trans­mis­sion in ar­eas where we have Wol­bachia at high lev­els in the lo­cal mos­quito pop­u­la­tion,” Dr Hurst said.

Pic­ture: SCOTT TIBBALLS

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.