Beating The Zika Virus By Using Old Tires


With the world on its toes looking for a way to address the problem with the Zika virus, a Canadian doctor has invented a way to fight the spread of the disease with an ingenious yet affordable mosquito trap.

Dr. Gerardo Ulibarri from the Laurentian University in Canada cane up with a do-it-yourself mosquito trap using an old car tire and some $3 worth of materials which he believes is seven times more effective in trapping mosquito eggs.

Calling it the “ovilanta’, Dr. Ulibarri said that it collects the eggs of the Aedes Egypti mosquito responsible for spreading the Zika virus and is also the same kind of mosquito responsible for the deadly dengue virus.

The idea sprang from his trips in Guatemala where he was helping in research to prevent the dengue fever outbreaks, as well as current research on the West Nile virus in Canada.

He patterned his design from home-made ovitraps used to trap dengue-carrying mosquitoes in his travels and could not find similar devices in Canada.

Dr. Ulibarri has tested his DIY invention during a 10-month study back in Guatemala where over 180,000 mosquito eggs from the Aedes Egypti compared to only 27,000 eggs using the same number of standard traps.

The Guatemalan Ministry of Health manifested their support to Dr. Ulibarri’s contraption that it promoted the use of the ovillantas all throughout  the country and may be funding manufacture of the traps.

The ‘secret’ weapon is the use of mosquito hormones called pheromones that attract egg-bearing mosquitoes into the traps, which the trap ‘collects’ over time from water reused on the ovilanta.

The trap attracts the eggs to be harvested using a piece of paper built inside the device. The paper filter is taken out twice weekly to be burned and replaced, while the water remains free from mosquito eggs and can be reused.

The longer the trap has been set up, the more concentrated the mosquito hormones are collected in the water, making it stronger to attract more mosquitoes into the trap.

Recently the scientific community was ecstatic about a recent discovery of an experimental dengue vaccine that shows promise against the virus, with very encouraging results that larger clinical trials are already being conducted in Brazil.

The study waS published by the Science Translational Medicine where the test involved 41 volunteers that were given the test vaccine, a placebo named TV003 that was developed jointly by the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The effects of the vaccine were very encouraging, researchers claimed, after the volunteers who were administered with the placebo only developed mild disease symptoms – with the infecting microbe analyzed as very weak that it could not cause the test subjects to become dangerously ill.


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