November 10, 2015

A New Weapon in the Fight against Dengue Fever

A New Weapon in the Fight against Dengue Fever

Mosquitoes will soon have a new, energy-efficient nemesis to fear. Photo Credit: Nagesh Jayaraman

The symptoms range from mild to incapacitating high fever, severe headache, rash, and muscle and joint pain that give the affliction its nickname of “break-bone fever.”  There is no vaccine to make one immune to it, no medications to treat it once it’s contracted, and cases in Malaysia have been higher this year than ever before.

As of June this year, there were over 50,000 cases of dengue fever in Malaysia recorded.  Of this total, 138 fatalities were confirmed.  Dengue fever has become a serious burden for Malaysia, affecting public health through disease and the environment through large-scale sprayings undertaken to kill the mosquitoes responsible for spreading it.

The good news is that a new method of mosquito control is soon to hit the streets, quite literally, in the form of an energy-efficient bug-killing streetlamp.

The lamp runs on both wind and solar power, attracting mosquitoes by releasing the CO2 they are naturally drawn to and trapping them inside.  The product was developed over 18 months and is now being piloted at the University of Malaya campus.  It’s pilot results have not been released, but could spell relief for more than Malaysia.

“This device is tailor-made for developing countries, where power outage and dengue fever are common problems for rural residents,” said Assistant Professor Bernard Saw Lip Huat, a mechanical and materials engineer at the University of Tunku Abdul Rahman in Selangor, Malaysia.

The lamp’s energy-efficient design and easy installation could light up streets and fend off the debilitating dengue fever in Malaysia and many developing countries – keep an eye out for this cutting-edge innovation.

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