Via 9news.com.au: Qld researchers tackle dengue fever. Excerpt:
Queensland researchers believe a ground-breaking method aimed at stopping the spread of dengue fever can be used to combat the virus on a large scale overseas.
About 300,000 mosquitoes carrying a naturally-occurring bacteria preventing them from transmitting the disease were released in Townsville last October.
The aim was for them to pass on the wolbachia bacteria to the wider mosquito population.
So far, it appears to be working. Just one locally-acquired case of dengue fever has been confirmed in Townsville this year, while none was reported over the summer months.
"It's looking very positive, we're impressed with the sudden drop," said Townsville Public Health Unit director Dr Steven Donohue.
"For more than 10 years we've had multiple outbreaks every wet season.
"It is not conclusive proof but it appears to have pushed dengue fever over the edge here in Townsville."
It is estimated up to 80 per cent of the city's mosquito population are now carrying the bacteria.
A not-for-profit collaboration, the Eliminate Dengue program is undertaking similar studies in Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cairns.
Field trial manager Andrew Turley says the goal is to release the mosquitoes on a larger scale in highly endemic countries in Africa and southeast Asia.