El Salvador: Could fish be the answer to the Zika virus?
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El Salvador: Could fish be the answer to the Zika virus?

With Latin America in the grips of the zika virus, one small community has decided to trial a new and unusual scheme to prevent the aedes aegypti mosquito from spreading.

The iniciative began some four years ago to combat the dengue virus, also spread by mosquitos, BBC Mundo reports.

In San Diego Playa residents are being given schools of the zambo fish, for their water tanks or other storage containers, such as open barrels. Mosquitos are attracted to water in order to breed and storage tanks provide the perfect conditions in which to lay their eggs.

The fish go on to consume the mosquito larvae, reducing the number of mosquitos and potential risk to the region’s inhabitants.

When the project was dreamt up by the country’s government there were a total of 17 cases of the dengue virus in the region. To date, there are no recorded cases of zika, dengue or the chikungunya virus – also transmitted by the same mosquito.

Brazil remains on red alert in relation to the zika, with increased concerns over the spread of the virus prior to the 2016 Olympic games.

See also:

Latin American leaders meet as Zika worries increase

Colombia advises women not to get pregnant over Zika virus fears