Using Drones to Combat Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Using Drones to Combat Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria, West Nile virus and the Zika virus, are responsible for countless illnesses and deaths each year. Scientists and researchers around the world have discovered a number of different ways to combat these diseases and minimize the population of infected mosquitoes, but there is still room for improvement. Read on to learn more about the most recent method used in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases.

Mosquito-Distributing Drones

Drones are becoming even more popular and useful thanks to their role in controlling the mosquito population and fighting the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses. Drones are now responsible for releasing sterile male mosquitoes into certain areas in order to control the mosquito population and stop the spread of dangerous diseases. The male mosquitoes, which become sterile through the process of radiation, are released and mate with female mosquitoes in that population. The female mosquitoes then lay eggs that never hatch. This prevents the population from growing and consequently, prohibits the number of disease-carrying mosquitoes from growing, as well.

Monitoring Mosquitoes and Areas

When drones aren’t being used to transport sterile mosquitoes, they are being used to monitor areas that are heavily populated with mosquitoes. There are many places where infected mosquitoes breed that scientists and researchers are unable to reach. For example, drones are popular tools for monitoring mosquitoes on islands off the coast of Africa. With limited access in these areas, there is no way to determine the number of mosquitoes that reside there and whether or not they are infected with malaria, West Nile or other mosquito-borne diseases.  Drones have made it possible for researchers to get a closer look into these “off the grid” locations to better monitor and combat the spread of dangerous illnesses with the ability to obtain video footage and images from drone cameras. This is providing more insight into where sterile mosquitoes need to be distributed.

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