Malaysia: Health Ministry releases Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes in Keramat

Bernama New Straits Times 29 Mar 17;

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry yesterday released mosquitoes infected with the Wolbachia micro-organism at dengue hot spots in AU2 in Keramat here.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the new method in preventing the spread of dengue is being conducted by the Institute for Medical Research to replace the population of wild Aedes mosquitoes.

"A total of 16,000 male and female Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes were released at 300 dengue hotspots in Keramat AU2 areas," he said in a statement.

Subramaniam said various anti-dengue activities involving residents are also being intensified in Section 7, Shah Alam, Selangor, before Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes will be deployed there.

He added that the deployment of such mosquitoes, monitored by IMR, will take place on a weekly basis, until 60 per cent of the population of wild Aedes mosquitoes in Keramat are replaced with the Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes.

He said studies have shown that Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes could prevent the spread of the dengue virus among humans.

The Wolbachia technique, as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is the latest method being applied by countries such as Australia, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore.

For detailed information on the method being carried out by the Health Ministry, members of the public can log on to http://www.imr.gov.my/wolbachia -- Bernama

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