By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

The Council of the Environment and Health and Technological Risks (CODERST), the Prefect of Reunion has just authorized by a prefectural order the Institute for Research for Development (IRD) to proceed with the release of some male mosquitoes sterilized in the laboratory to study their behavior in urban areas.

Aedes albopictus

These first releases, particularly supervised, will be carried out on the district of Duparc on the commune of Sainte-Marie. At this stage of the project, these releases are not yet intended to fight against mosquitoes, but to evaluate their behavior in the natural environment. The data collected is essential to ensure success in the coming years of this innovative project in Reunion.

The objective is not to set up the TIS, but to collect data that will refine the technique for the control of tiger mosquito ( Aedes albopictus) populations on a neighborhood scale.

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The prefectural decree that has just been published authorizes the IRD to temporarily release 3000 mosquitoes (less than 5% of the mosquito population initially present per hectare) once a quarter in the Duparc district . Only sterile male mosquitoes will be released. They pose no danger to humans and the environment (because male mosquitoes do not sting and those released can not reproduce).

Reunion has experience a dengue epidemic since 2018. The latest numbers from health officials show since the beginning of the year, more than 14,000 cases have been confirmed with about 1,000 cases reported each week.