Mourilyan residents are the first to meet our sterile male non-biting Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. They are therefore the very first in Australia and second in the world to be a part of the Debug mosquito research project testing Verily’s technology to implement the sterile insect technique, to try and reduce local populations of the mosquito that can transmit dengue and Zika.
The project team gained support from the broader Innisfail community through the Project Advisory Group along with approval from the Australian Government (APVMA), which enabled the study to begin with the first Wolbachia male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes being released from our ‘Mobile Mosquito Unit’ on Wednesday 15 November. Releases are continuing in Mourilyan three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, for up to 24 weeks.
Additional releases will begin in South Johnstone and Goondi Bend in the coming week, all going well, followed by central Innisfail including town, Cullinane and Goondi Hill.
We are keen to hear from Mourilyan residents, and those in future study sites, about how they feel about the mosquito releases throughout the study period. Residents we have spoken to are noticing the larger numbers of mozzies buzzing around but do recognise that as we are only releasing males, that our mozzies don’t bite.
It is also important to note that during our two-years of monitoring mosquitoes on the Cassowary Coast we have found over 32 different species of mosquitoes, some that bite, and we encourage all Innisfail residents to continue to protect themselves from all mozzie bites as they normally would.
Residents are encouraged to call 1800 4030 83, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and/or join the project’s Facebook Group for project updates CSIRO Innisfail Sterile Male Mozzie Research Project.
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