BVI News

Sterile mosquitos to be released in USVI, local attorney says BVI should have been consulted

Mosquito silhouetted against a white background.

A concern has been raised that authorities from the neighbouring US Virgin Islands (USVI) did not consult with the BVI before deciding to deliberately release a breed of non-biting mosquitos on to St Croix, USVI to reduce the population of a disease-carrying type of mosquito on that island. 

Well-known local attorney Jamal Smith raised that concern on social social site Facebook recently.

His concern follows an announcement by the Virgin Islands Department of Health (VIDOH) that they plan to launch what is known as a Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) initiative to eradicate the Aedes Aegypti mosquito — an insect that can spread dengue fever, chikungunya, the zika virus and other diseases.

“The project will consist of releasing non-biting, sterile male mosquitoes carrying Wolbachia, a naturally occurring bacterium that is found in most insects worldwide. When Wolbachia-carrying males are released in neighbourhoods and mate with wild Aedes aegypti females. The females’ eggs will not hatch, producing no offspring,” the VIDOH stated. 

It further said that the sterile mosquitoes to be released are not genetically modified and stressed that the VIDOH has never considered using genetically modified mosquito control methods for use in the USVI. 

Once the regulatory phase is completed, the project is expected to commence early in early 2020.

Consult the BVI

Though stating he is happy no genetically modified mosquitos are being used in the neighbouring territory’s initiative, Smith in his social media post, addressed the need for better usage of the Inter-Virgin Islands Council — a seemingly inactive body established in 1990 through a Memorandum of Understanding between the BVI and USVI.

The attorney said the Inter-Virgin Islands Council should have been used to discuss matters such as these, which he believes has the potential of impacting the BVI.

He said: “I believe closer collaboration on these types of activities are absolutely necessary due to the inter-connectivity of our ecosystems across the channel.”

Efforts to contact Health Minister Carvin Malone for comment were unsuccessful.

Editor’s Note

How Wolbachia works in mosquitos?

According to the World Mosquito Programme (WMP), Wolbachia can work two ways within a mosquito.

“The first way is to boost the natural immune system of the mosquito to make it harder for the mosquito to support the Zika, dengue, chikungunya or yellow fever infection. If the mosquito can’t get infected, then it can’t transmit these viruses to people,” the WMP said.

The second method involves the Wolbachia competing against viruses within the mosquito for key molecules like cholesterol to survive.

 “When Wolbachia is present, it consumes these molecules and makes it harder for the viruses to grow. If it’s harder for the viruses to grow, then it’s harder for them to be transmitted.”

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

19 Comments

Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Morris Turnbull says:

    They have been trying for our eradicate this mosquito for ages. Donto think this initiative will make a difference.

    Like 2
    Dislike 5
  2. Morris Turnbull says:

    They have been trying for ever to eradicate this mosquito for ages. Donto think this initiative will make a difference.

    Like 2
    Dislike 5
  3. Anonymous says:

    Health officials, do not trust. Verify, verify and verify!

    Like 6
    Dislike 3
  4. great says:

    Sound like a great initiative to me. Diseases like Zika would be eliminated.

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
    • Hello says:

      People do not just jump on the band wagon so soon. “My people perish for a lack of knowledge.” you cannot trust these people they will tell you one thing and do another. But in the end do we know for sure that they are not introducing another strain of virus to kill out all of the black people in the Caribbean? Think people think!!!

      Like 4
      Dislike 4
      • @ Hello says:

        A truthful and sad reality.

        The other even most saddest reality is, 99.99% of our people are unaware of the current facts that are substantiating your and oher statements. They do not read nothing of value.

        Moreover, our government and health officials heads are buried up to their butts in the sand on this issue, and the future of the people are in real and immiment danger.

        The current data, statistics and recent literature of the Congo, South Africa, Botswana, Haitia, Kenya and many others, while the perpertrators are right now in Africa and the Caribbean promoting the “cure for Africa and the Caribbean through planned parenhood by the vaccine.”

        The same murderes who were just deported from India for murdering millions of babies and adults, and who has an open agenda of world depopulation of the Black man, are now in Africa and the Caribbean being welcomed by governments to carry out his genicide on us.

        And governments and health officials who are being paid to be on top of such catastrophic health, life and death developments are not, or they ae being bought off.

        Like 3
        Dislike 1
  5. Wow says:

    Just ridiculous. Is the Caribbean a dumping ground or laboratory rats for scientific testing now? First we are the destination of choice for inferior ‘made for export only’ food products. Now this?

    Like 6
    Dislike 9
    • Forward thinking says:

      Where is the evidence that the Caribbean is a dumping ground, besides the trash we ourselves generate? Personally, I see nothing objectionable from releasing sterile mosquitoes to reduce mosquito reproduction. Can’t really think of anyone who particularly enjoys being around them. Can you provide rational, scientific reasons why this should not be done? Secondly, can you explain why you think this would adversely impact the BVIs?

      Like 20
      Dislike 3
  6. Rubbish! says:

    Consult for what? They are trying to protect their citizens. What makes you think our opinion matters! I swear..

    Like 24
    Dislike 1
  7. Anon says:

    What makes you think the BVI consults burning garbage in Pockwood Pond?
    JS is a biased jack$@#

    Like 23
  8. LOL says:

    They might create more monsters by releasing these gay mosquitoes

    Like 2
    Dislike 11
  9. Exactly says:

    Consult for what. Yeah the USVI is going to protect It’s citizens.

    Like 16
    Dislike 1
    • So true says:

      The USVI does not have to consult with the BVI about such matter, The USVI IS PART OF THE UNITED STATES, NOT THE BVI. CONSULT THE BVI ABOUT WHAT. THE ONLY PEOPLE THE USVI HAVE TO CONSULT WITH IS THE CDC.

      Like 11
      Dislike 1
  10. i wonder says:

    Are these cannibals?

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  11. Tried and tested says:

    The capability has been around for a decade, i cant see what BVI is going to contribute that the experts haven’t! There is a wealth of testing and risk assessment , ie top in a google search
    http://www.eliminatedengue.com/our-research

  12. Curious says:

    How are they considered not genetically modified if the particular mosquitos being released are all sterile males, as well as carrying “elevated” levels of this bacteria which is supposed to make mosquitos resistant to Dengue, etc or cause eggs not to hatch? Never known Nature to work that way…have heard & read about this research since it was suggested in the early “BugOut days”….get the concept, but don’t understand how you consider the insect a none gmo / natural creature….

  13. Ohkaaay says:

    Think releasing some sterile lawyers might be a better idea. Eradicate the real nuisances.
    Can’t believe BVINews has to find their “news” on social media.
    If that’s the case, start reporting who banging who.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  14. ms says:

    I really do not understand what is going on but please leave my BVI alone. I was in the region for a week in early August and felt no affect of being bitten or attacked by mosquitos at ALL – Listen I had no problem. Please BVI what ever you are and how you are handling things continue – continue for your people.
    It was only when I left and arrived in the USVI had problems – I am saying lots of problems with those pest mosquitos – Not one bite in the BVI – Not one I was very surprised – very shocked – shocked.

    SO PLEASED DO NOT CHANGE WHAT EVER YOU ARE DOING TO KEEP YOUR BVI AND IT’S PEOPLE MOSQUITO FREE. I must say I had a week home FREE FROM ANY PROBLEM. Continue – Continue what you are doing to keep the BVI FREE of a BIG PROBLEM.

    The USVI need to consult BVI Health Department and find out what the region is using.

    I only encountered a PROBLEM when I left the BVI and arrived into the SHORES OF USVI and FOUND A PROBLEM BEING BITTEN.

    Do not change BVI what and how you are handling your people FREE.

    USVI – USVI do your research – Do your research – put a STOP TO YOUR PROBLEM WITH THOSE PESTY MOSQUITOS.

    HANDS UP FOR THE BVI ONE STEP AHEAD – CONTINUE THE WORK ON KEEP THOSE PESTY MOSQUITOS OUT OF YOUR REGION.
    I HAD A SAFE – SAFE – STAY – FREE FROM GETTING BITTEN.
    USVI – DO YOUR JOB AND MAKE ALL PEOPLE SAFE IN YOUR REGION FREE THOSE PESTY MOSQUITOS. MY PROBLEM STARTED WHEN I RETURNED BACK INTO ST. THOMAS.
    BVI DO NOT CHANGE WHAT YOU ARE DOING –
    THANK YOU BVI FOR KEEPING ME SAFE – THANK YOU.
    SEE YOU NEXT YEAR – BE SAFE MY HOME – CONTINUE THE GREAT WORK AND KEEP YOUR PEOPLE FOCUSED TOWARDS THE FUTURE. WE MUST ALWAYS REMEMBER THE HARD WORK OUR ANCESTORS KEPT THING REGION AND OVERALL BVI ISLANDERS/BELONGERS.
    FORWARD FOR EVER / BACKWARD NEVER.

  15. BugOut says:

    Perhaps we would be better suited to ask them for their consultation on how the BVI could potentially benefit from joining their efforts. Non-GMO sterile male technology has already been recommended the PAHO as effective and safe (search PAHO Mosquito SIT) and the CDC is also on board with the tech. Instead of criticizing, lets ask for knowledge and decide if there is opportunity to improve our own homes and family!

Leave a Comment

Shares