Olympics are back, as they always are after every four years. Those who follow sports, get ready as the fun is about to start in a few days.
Fear may be the greatest motivator or the deadliest demotivator, especially for those who let it control them. Recent news has unraveled that world class athletes such as Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy are withdrawing from this year’s Olympics for fear that they might fall prey to the Zika virus. A smart move on their part, as one might say, but I call it an excuse.
As the saying goes: “When the going gets tough, the tough get tougher.” Last I heard even the United States (US), especially Florida, is infested with this virus. So instead of running from this nightmare, take precautions. Use of long sleeved shirts and mosquito repellants can help prevent mosquito bites. Try it, it will benefit you.
Meanwhile, China may be taking a lead in finding a solution for the Zika virus. Although United States is the leading medical innovator, China is creeping up one step at a time. Every week, Chinese scientists release 3 million bacteria infected mosquitoes to help wipe out diseases like dengue and Zika virus. Only 28% of wild mosquitoes naturally produce this bacteria. It causes the infected males to sterilize the females they have intercourse with.
According to US health officials and the World Health Organization, Zika infection can result in microcephaly in pregnant women and Guillain-Barre, a neurological syndrome that causes temporary paralysis. China may have encouraged the use of genetically modified mosquitoes, but some environmental activists in the US may be on the opposite side of the tracks.
Mila de Mier, a Key West resident, has started a petition with 161,000 signs and is insisting the FDA to stop the use of genetically modified mosquitoes, as it may wipe out a whole species of insects and cause imbalance in the ecosystem. Thankfully, the FDA agreed with the findings by Oxitec, suggesting that genetically modified mosquitoes will not have a major impact on the environment, thus paving the path for the technique to be used in the US.