Sunday, February 25, 2024 | 05:38 WIB

Wolbachia method effective against DHF, been researched since 2016

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Jakarta, IO – In overcoming the high number of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) cases in Indonesia, the Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said technological innovation of mosquitoes containing Wolbachia is the solution.

The disease kills at least around 900-1,000 people every year in Indonesia. The majority of them children.

“Dengue in Indonesia has been increasing continuously for perhaps the last 50 years. After we observe the pattern they tend increase during El Nino. It is estimated that the peak will be at the end of this year until the beginning of next year,” said Budi, per detikHealth, Thu (30/11).

Budi advised the public not to worry about Wolbachia because the innovation is the result of research by 24 experts over many years and has been frequently tested.

“The in-depth test and long-term analysis has been carried out since 2016 by 24 independent experts. They tested the potential long-term risks and the results came out negligible,” he explained.

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He emphasized that Wolbachia is a natural bacterium and not the result of genetic engineering.  According to him, this natural bacteria is found in almost all insects. When it enters the mosquito’s body, the Wolbachia bacteria will kill the dengue virus.

“Wolbachia doesn’t exist outside the cell and can’t move, this is natural. Why is it natural? If it enters the Aedes aegypti mosquito, it will defeat the dengue virus. This way the mosquito will not be able to transmit dengue fever to humans,” he explained. (bp)

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