Drones the Latest Weapon in the Fight Against Zika | NBC Southern California
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Drones the Latest Weapon in the Fight Against Zika

The drones will be able to drop Zika-fighting mosquitoes in hard-to-reach areas



    Felipe Dana, AP
    In this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil.

    The latest plans to help fight the Zika virus include unmanned aerial vehicles — drones — that can drop Zika-fighting mosquitoes or transport lab samples to and from remote regions, according to an NBC News report. WeRobotics and Vayu, the two companies who received federal funding for the project, will develop the drones.

    Flooding mosquito populations with sterile mosquitos has been shown to greatly reduce their rates of reproduction and thus, population size. Delivering such Zika-fighting mosquitos to hard-to-reach areas, like Brazil's favelas, has proven an obstacle for those battling the virus. Drones could navigate to areas that ground vehicles can't reach.

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    Funding comes from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), borrowed from Ebola-fighting efforts after Congress failed to approve $1.9 billion in new funding earlier this year.