La minaccia delle zanzare

STANFORD – Ogni anno le malattie provocate dalle zanzare uccidono milioni di persone e sono causa di sofferenza per molte altre. Nel 2012 sono stati registrati 207 milioni casi di malaria che hanno poi portato a 627 mila decessi. La febbre dengue è una delle principali cause di malattia e morte nelle aree tropicali e subtropicali e sono circa 100 milioni le persone che vengono infettate ogni anno. In base alle stime, ci sarebbero poi 200 mila casi di febbre gialla all’anno che causano 30 mila decessi a livello mondiale.

Per la trasmissione di un’infezione debilitante o mortale, basta un solo morso di una zanzara infetta, e le zanzare si moltiplicano e si riproducono ad una velocità sorprendente. Dato che non esistono vaccini o medicine per malattie come la febbre dengue ed il virus del Nilo occidentale, e dato inoltre che è difficile accedere alle cure per malattie come la malaria in molte aree a rischio, sono estremamente necessari dei meccanismi più efficaci di controllo sulle zanzare.

La buona notizia è che c’è una nuova tecnologia pronta ad essere testata sul campo. Spetta ora alle agenzie governative facilitarne lo sviluppo.

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