The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding an approach to fighting Zika that relies on giving mosquitos a sexually transmitted disease — and the process starts in a container that resembles a Chinese take-out box
During an appearance at Code Conference on Tuesday, Gates Foundation CEO Susan Desmond-Hellman showed off the kit that facilitates the spread of a disease among mosquitos that renders them unable to transmit Zika and other diseases.
Desmond-Hellman explained (without real mosquitos) how female eggs infected with a bacteria are placed in the box and when they’re born and they mate with male insects, the offspring can’t spread Zika, the virus causing a global public health emergency.
Desmond-Hellman said that schoolchildren in Australia are given the “Mozzie” boxes to hang at home in the hopes of releasing the disease-halting insects.
According to Recode, the Gates Foundation has been funding Australian researchers behind the technique for more than eight years, originally to fight Dengue fever.