The IAEA said it will discuss with Brazilian officials a method to render male mosquitoes infertile by nuclear radiation.
THE NEWS/REUTERS French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur announced Tuesday that a vaccine for the Zika virus will begin to be developed. Up until now, no specific treatment for the virus exists. An exact date for the release of the vaccination was not given. The International Atomic Energy Agency said Tuesday that it will meet Brazilian officials on Feb. 16 to discuss a new method to render male mosquitoes infertile by nuclear radiation which could help reduce populations of the insect carrying the Zika virus that is linked to thousands of birth defects in Brazil. Experts from the international body are analyzing how best to roll out the so-called Sterile Insect Technology (SIT) in the host country of the 2016 Summer Olympics. “If Brazil released a huge number of sterile males, it would take a few months to reduce the population, (but) it has to be combined with other methods,” IAEA Deputy Director General Aldo Malavasi told reporters. In the United States, the first known case of Zika virus transmission was reported in Texas on Tuesday by local health officials, who said it was likely contracted through sex and not a mosquito bite. According to the Mexican Secretary of Health, Mercedes Juan López, the country is prepared to face the Zika virus, because the virus has been investigated for over a year. “The most important thing is that all of the countries affected by Zika are working to control, prevent and provide attention to the problem. It is also necessary to reinforce prenatal medical attention,” Juan López said. The official said that from November 2015-January 2016 there were 34 confirmed cases of Zika virus in Mexico. Juan López said that this number is sure to increase, because the virus is already in the country