IAEA to Help Zika-Affected States Detect, Contain Virus Using Nuclear Tech
IAEA to Help Zika-Affected States Detect, Contain Virus Using Nuclear Tech © REUTERS/ Paulo Whitaker
17:33 15.02.2016Get short URL
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has pledged assistance to Zika-affected countries in Latin America in containing the spread of the mosquito-borne disease, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said Monday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The World Health Organization declared the Zika virus a global health emergency after the outbreak caused a rise in cases of brain damage in newborns and paralysis across six counties, most notably in Brazil. They are believed to have links to Zika.
“The IAEA is now mobilizing its resources to provide rapid assistance to the countries concerned,” Amano said in a keynote speech at the Symposium on Nuclear Applications for Sustainable Development in Kuwait.
The nuclear watchdog plans to provide hardest-hit Latin American countries – Brazil, French Polynesia, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia, and Suriname – with portable nuclear-derived equipment to detect Zika virus in the field.
It will also supply devices that utilize radiation to sterilize male insects which are then released into the wild to mate, without producing offspring. This will hopefully reduce the population of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, responsible for the outbreak.