Combatir la plaga del mosquito

STANFORD – Cada año, enfermedades transmitidas por mosquitos matan a millones de personas y causan sufrimiento a muchas más. Se estima que en 2012 hubo 207 millones de casos de malaria, de los que unos 627.000 fueron fatales. En tanto, el dengue es una de las principales causas de enfermedad y muerte en las regiones tropicales y subtropicales; cada año, hasta 100 millones de personas resultan infectadas. Y se estima que en todo el mundo se producen unos 200.000 casos de fiebre amarilla por año, de los que 30.000 son fatales.

Una sola picadura de un mosquito infectado basta para transmitir una infección debilitante o mortal; y la rapidez con que se reproducen los mosquitos es sorprendente. Para enfermedades como el dengue y el virus del Nilo occidental no existen vacunas ni medicamentos, y los tratamientos para enfermedades como la malaria no son fácilmente accesibles en muchas de las áreas en riesgo, de modo que es imperioso hallar mecanismos más eficaces para controlar las poblaciones de mosquitos.

Felizmente se ha inventado una nueva tecnología que promete dar buenos resultados y ya está lista para la prueba en campo. Facilitar su desarrollo depende ahora de los organismos gubernamentales.

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