Key West, Florida – Mosquitoes can be one helluva a nuisance – and with those pesky little critters comes myriad illnesses, but two in particular have been present in South Florida in recent years – Chikungunya and Dengue Fever.
Both are vector-borne diseases, and both are transmitted by Aedes aegypti – the scientific name for a bothersome little bug, also known as the “yellow fever mosquito,” that 99.99 percent of the population despises.
There was an outbreak of dengue in Florida in 2009, but since then it’s been pretty quiet. So, does the problem really warrant releasing millions of man-altered, genetically modified mosquitoes into the wild, with a cunning war-like plot of wiping the little bugger out (or at least beating the population back to sheer vestiges of what it is now)?
That’s exactly what Oxitec, a British biotech company, and the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD), want to do with the OX513A Aedes aegypti mosquito – let the GMO genie out of the bottle.