Zika Virus: Is Mosquito-Eating Fish the Answer?

Zika Virus Rash Arm 2014

The Latin America governments have been trying several methods to stop the spread progression of Zika virus in the continent. Insecticide sprays and fumigation previously showed minimal improvement. Recently, giving away mosquito repellents to Olympic athletes come summer, as well as breeding and distributing mosquito-eating fish have been planned.

After the Hurricane Katrina, a non-profit group based in Virginia, the Operation Blessing, has helped in averting  the spread of the West Nile virus to New Orleans by filling up the abandoned swimming pools with water, to prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for the mosquito-borne virus, and with fish to feed on the mosquito larva, Pilot Online reported.

From the Acapulco area of Mexico, Operation Blessing is currently working with El Salvador to supply Sambo, the mosquito-eating fish, which the families may put in their sinks or containers where the drinking water is kept.

According to Eduardo Espinoza, El Salvador’s Vice Minister of Health, Sambo fish is a successful way of decreasing the Zika virus. Various groups have also begun with the distribution of the fish nationwide.

The Operation Blessing is planning to fight the virus in Mexico by working closely with the government in the  distribution of the same fish from Gambusia. The non-profit group is also having talks with the authorities of Honduras, as revealed by the CBN, an affiliate of the group.

Operation Blessing president Bill Horan stated that the fish can give a distinct effective alternative to fighting the disease. He added that mosquito bed nets appear to be ineffective since Aedes Aegypti are not present during the night.

Meanwhile, health officials in some states in  the US have indicated the numbers of human cases that have not been acquired locally. The disease may also be spread through sexual contact, and blood transfusion, USA Today reported.

Zika virus outbreak in the Central America may hopefully be stopped through breeding and distribution of fish, as believed by the group.


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