Institute launches trial project to stem dengue fever cases
KHANH HOA (VNS)— The naturally existing strain of the bacteria Wolbachia will be used to control dengue-fever transmission, which has increased in recent years, according to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.
The trial project will begin in April on Tri Nguyen Island in central Khanh Hoa Province.
Dr Nguyen Tran Hien, the institute's head, was quoted as saying in the Lao Dong (Labour) Newspaper that current methods for dengue prevention, including the spraying of chemicals and getting rid of stagnant water, were failing to reduce dengue-fever incidence.
Hien spoke at a workshop held in Khanh Hoa Province on Thursday on the use of the bacterium in the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Viet Nam, especially localities in the central region's coastal provinces and in the southern region, have seen dengue-fever incidence increase.
Wolbachia is a natural bacterium present in up to 70 per cent of all insect species. It is known to reduce mosquito susceptibility to dengue and other viruses.
Australia was the first country to use the bacterium to successfully and safely reduce dengue transmission.
Scientists introduce the bacterium into the dengue-carrying mosquito Aedes aegypti and then release the mosquitoes into the environment.
The bacterium is used to control dengue and malaria by eliminating older insects and controlling reproduction.
Tri Nguyen Island has a high population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and a small population of 3,250, making it a suitable area for a pilot project.
Viet Nam is one of eight countries in Asia that have a high incidence of dengue cases and fatalities caused by the disease.
The annual average number of cases that occur in Viet Nam are between 70,000 and 100,000. Each year, between 60 and 90 people die from dengue fever. — VNS