Wednesday
March 9
2016

Mosquito Eating Fish Used to Fight Zika Virus in Latin America

With the Zika virus spreading toward the United States, threatening pregnant mothers and the 2016 Olympics, aid workers have placed hope in a familiar fish.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Virginia-based non-profit Operation Blessing helped avert an outbreak of the West Nile virus in New Orleans by supplying abandoned swimming pools full of water – ideal breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitos – with fish that feast on mosquito larva.

Now the group hopes to halt the spread of the Zika virus in Central America by breeding and distributing fish that can eat mosquitos’ larva before the insects mature and carry the disease, which has been linked to an epidemic of birth defects in Brazil and spread quickly throughout Latin America.

Based out of Mexico’s Acapulco area, Operation Blessing is working in El Salvador to supply a mosquito-eating fish called Sambo—one native to the area—that families can place in sinks and containers where drinking water is stored, CBN reports.

Source: USA TODAY (link opens in a new window)

Categories
Health Care
Tags
global health, health care, zika