01:04 GMT14 June 2021
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    New techniques of biological control may offer long-term help in combatting mosquitoes spreading the Zika virus, but they are currently failing to provide any effective help, a General Accountability Office (GAO) report issued on Wednesday cautioned.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — "Emerging technologies, including biological control methods — such as infecting mosquitoes with bacteria — genetically-modified mosquitoes, and auto-dissemination traps, show some promise but are still in development and testing phases," the report stated.

    The GAO noted that many factors, including a large number of asymptomatic patients and patients with mild symptoms, complicate understanding of the Zika virus and may hinder responses to the current outbreak.

    "An estimated 80 percent of individuals infected with the Zika virus may not manifest clinical symptoms. As a result, incidence of the infection may be underestimated," the report warned.

    Lack of pattern and trends data has made surveillance of the virus difficult to medical researchers, and they acknowledge it cannot yet be prevented or treated by drugs or vaccines, so mosquito control remains crucial to prevent its spread, the GAO concluded.


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