A ameaça do mosquito

STANFORD – As doenças transmitidas por mosquitos matam milhões de pessoas por ano e causam sofrimento a muitas mais. Calcula-se que em 2012 se tenham verificado 207 milhões de casos de malária, estando na origem de cerca de 627 000 mortes. A dengue é uma das principais causas de doença e morte nas regiões tropicais e subtropicais, chegando a infectar 100 milhões de pessoas por ano. Além disso, calcula-se a ocorrência de 200 000 casos de febre-amarela por ano, originando 30 000 mortes em todo o mundo.

Basta uma picada de um mosquito portador da doença para transmitir uma infecção debilitante ou mortal, isto para além do facto de os mosquitos se reproduzem e se multiplicam a uma velocidade surpreendente. Uma vez que não existem vacinas ou tratamentos medicamentosos para doenças como a dengue e o vírus da febre do Vale do Nilo e que o acesso a tratamentos para doenças como a malária é difícil em muitas áreas em situação de risco, precisamos desesperadamente de mecanismos mais eficazes para controlar as populações de mosquitos.

A boa notícia é a existência de uma recente tecnologia promissora que está pronta para ser testada em campo. Cabe agora aos órgãos governamentais facilitar o seu desenvolvimento.

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