Thailand to sterilize mosquitos with radiotherapy to fight dengue fever

A radiotherapy technique normally used to treat cancer will be put to use in a unique way: sterilizing mosquitoes responsible for the spread of dengue fever.

The Thai Institute of Nuclear Technology believes the strategy will help curtail the exponential increase of the number of Aedes mosquitos—the primary carrier of the disease—throughout Thailand, reported the Thai Public Broadcasting Service.

“The process poses no danger to human or pet animals as the intensity is comparable to radio-waves and micro-waves that we encounter on a daily basis,” according to the report. “The amount of radiation that these mosquitoes are exposed to will render them 100 percent sterile.”

Scientists involved in the sterilization effort say the first trials using sterilized mosquitoes will be carried out in the next few months.

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