MRCU aims to eradicate Aedes aegypti

| 30/08/2018 | 27 Comments
Aedes aegypti, Cayman News Service

Aedes aegypti mosquito

(CNS): The Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) has created a board made up largely of international and global technical experts with the ambitious goal of eradicating the Aedes aegypti mosquito from Grand Cayman. The creation of this specialist advisory board was revealed in a press release from government, which said the board would provide input on an eradication plan. MRCU Director Jim McNelly said the unit would use the expertise of the members, many of whom are scientists, in the development and implementation of a viable eradication plan that includes sound scientific metrics and practices.

This is the first time that the MRCU has claimed it can eradicate rather than significantly suppress this prolific species.

“The Aedes aegypti mosquito is not endemic to the Cayman Islands, however it is widespread and has the potential to transmit a range of diseases,” McNelly said. “Unlike other mosquitoes Aedes aegypti  breeds only in standing water held in containers. We believe by integrating our surveillance and control technologies, we will be able to eradicate this dangerous insect.”

The government has set aside $800,000 in this budget cycle to help combat this disease-spreading mosquito, according to the release, which said that the community would be enlisted to help in removing sources of standing water around homes and other buildings across the island because this is vital to successful eradication. Over the next several months, the MRCU will develop an eradication plan for roll-out in 2019.

See who is on the advisory board in the CNS Library

There is no one from the Department of Environment on the board and the release also made no mention of the MRCU’s partnership with Oxitec, the firm which, with the blessing of the Cayman Islands Government, released genetically modified insects into control areas in West Bay.

This method of reducing the Aedes aegypti stirred up considerable controversy as well as questions about the efficacy of the technology. No member of Oxitec is on the board and there is no indication as to whether the company will continue to play a part in this eradication plan.

CNS has submitted questions about Oxitec’s participation and is awaiting a response.

McNelly said that the board’s combined experience, guidance and passion was vital to the success of what will become the Aedes aegypti eradication strategy.

The ministry’s chief officer, Jennifer Ahearn, said the board should help ensure that the final strategy, and all programmes and projects that arise from it, meet the strictest international scientific standards. At the same time it will reflect the input of a cross-section of key local stakeholders.

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Category: environmental health, Health, Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (27)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    maybe they trying to erradicate us from our country….the politicians that is…

  2. Anonymous says:

    We need to be aware of just how much we really are not even aware of!
    Could hemochromatosis, diabetes and mosquitoes be possibly linked? Here is an article for the intellectually curious mind “Evolutionary friend or foe?”
    https ://

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’d rather let them have their blood meal and sip my gin and tonic. The mosquitos won’t kill us but we’ll have toxins killing us for decades to come. We’re not smart enough to play god yet.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ancient physicians were barbers and blood letters. We used to believe this practice was ‘quackery’ but we now know that it was survival of fittest in action. Blood letting had a major role in conferring more longevity to those with hemochromatosis of European descent. Until the 20th century bloodletting was standard practice. Then it was stopped and hemochromatosis became a modern disease. Canadian physiologist Norman Kasting found that blood letting also released the hormone vassopressin (ADH) from the posterior pituitary, and this reduced their fevers and increased their immune function to act faster. This find is clearly was not causation…but the correlation between bloodletting and fever reduction is massive in the human historical record. Bleeding them down may have helped fight infection when it was present.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Aim to demolish a natural creature ? To replace witha gmo version. This is psycotic. Be honest with yourselves christian nation of folks.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Do you think evolution knows something modern science may not?

    Consider that people in Africa live in a constant state of anemia because of malaria even today. In fact, if you replete them with iron to treat the anemia their rate of sepsis zooms higher.
    .. mosquitos are looking for Africans in malaria regions to help them because they have so much UV light in their blood plasma for the correct reasons……… malaria can protect them.

    When an American goes to equatorial Africa they are releasing ELF-UV because they are not healthy……….so the mosquitos “see” this and bite them and they are the one’s who get quite ill and can die from it.

    The common tie is UV light.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can’t store UV light in blood… where’s the WTFLOL button

      Domestic mosquitoes have evolved receptors that are highly sensitive to odorants produced in particular by humans. Your stink, sweaty armpits is a scent of buffet to them.

  6. Born Caymanian says:

    Please don’t tell me part of their plan is to spray and fog out the neighborhoods with airbourne pesticide!

    We have enough air pollutants from cars!
    Maybe link to our high increase in folk getting cancers!

    And at what COST?!

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m so impressed with what’s happening in our Government and Civil Service. World Class!!

      Thank you PPM and Civil Service. You have tacked every issue facing our Islands.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Can they look into other irritating little pest eradication too? Politicians for example?

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe they should starting spraying all those who are jealous of politicians and don’t have enough brain cells to become one.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t kid yourself. You just need to be able to lie and smile to become a politician. Brain cells not required or included.

  8. Off! says:

    This is outrageous, we don’t have a single born Caymanian on the Board and being Caymanian they have by far the most important qualification.

    • Anonymous says:

      Which Caymanian scientist you think could contribute to this board in a meaningful way. Don’t get me wrong, I am Caymanian and support Cayman and Caymanians all the way , I have also been on a few boards but this is different. These people will be drawing on their knowledge, experience and espertise to come up with a scientific solution to get rid of these mosquitoes. Personally I think this exercise if successful will be for the benefit of other islands/ countries as well but I really can’t think of any local scientist who has that kind of knowledge. However I do not think that Will Pinea should have a seat at the table but perhaps a younger Caymanian Doctor, if interested, should have been included to join the team. The research could have been interesting to an up and up doctor who might have an interest in public health.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe add a pastor to the board. That seems to be the only contribution to any problem here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where is the lol button when you need it.

  9. Flycatcher says:

    This is what happens when people do not study history.
    Aedes Aegypti was successfully eradicated by Marco Giglioli and Bill Petrie continued the work to keep the species out. Only since Ivan has it become re-established, almost certainly by insects arriving on fishing boats from nearby countries. In the chaos after the hurricane it was impossible for MRCU to monitor and spray all arriving boats and aircraft.

    Just look back at the records to see what Marco did and do it again.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mosquitos are here for a reason we don’t understand.

    • Anonymous says:

      But scientists know everything and if you pay them enough, they can tell you what you want to hear.

      • Anonymous says:

        By nature, all scientific publications are peer reviewed inside out by independent experts who ensure nothing ‘fishy’ is going on. Mosquitoes are the result of natural selection.

        Let me google it for you:

      • Anonymous says:

        Yea, that’s super ignorant.

      • Anonymous says:

        I bet the people who are telling you to doubt the peer review system that modern science is based on are being paid to say what you want to hear too
        maybe it is you that is being paid

        If you honestly think hundreds of thousands of scientists all around the world are being paid off and have no integrity then you truly live in a dark world

        Should you just blindly trust everything scientists say? No
        Is doubting everything they say and looking for some grand conspiracy any more logical? No

        There is a happy medium where most people acknowledge that scientists tend to be right but there are always people willing to get he qualifications to sell out to the highest bidder (just as in any profession)

        • Anonymous says:

          Peer review is ok as far as it goes, but reproducing results independently is is the real test of science. There are all kinds of peer-reviewed crap results out there that no one else can reproduce or that no one has tried to verify.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is an invasive species dipshit. #Educateyourself

      • Anonymous says:

        Everything here is an invasive species apart from the fish and turtles and Caiman gators, but we managed to kill the latter off.

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