British researchers want to release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys. The idea is to use the bugs as a drug to cure two diseases – dengue and chikungunya. The latter is the mosquito-borne viral disease that sent actress Lindsay Lohan to hospital recently. There are no antiviral medicines to treat the disease, which causes fever and joint pain.
The idea is to release mosquitoes that can kill the female mosquitoes that spread the viruses. The problem is, there really isn’t a problem in the US, yet. (Lohan was bitten while in Bora-Bora.) Locals in the Florida Keys aren’t convinced about the experiment. Key Haven resident Marilyn Smith told the AP: “If I knew that this was a real risk and lives could be saved, that would make sense. But there are no problems. Why are we trying to fix it? Why are we being used as the experiment, the guinea pigs, just to see what happens?” Would a celebrity endorsement help? The FDA is expected to make a decision soon.