The World Mosquito Program (WMP) is working in Australia to protect local communities from mosquito-borne diseases. The WMP’s self-sustaining method uses safe, natural bacteria called Wolbachia to reduce the ability of mosquitoes to transmit viruses between people.
With strong community support and government approval, we have been working in dengue-prone areas across northern and far northern Queensland since 2011, including large parts of the Cairns and Townsville regions. The cornerstone of our approach is community engagement, with tens of thousands of Queenslanders supporting our projects.
After seven years of working in northern Queensland communities, long-term monitoring shows that Wolbachia is self-sustaining at high levels. In areas where high levels of Wolbachia are present, there has been no evidence of local dengue transmission. We are continuing to monitor Wolbachia levels in the local mosquito populations across Townsville, Charters Towers, Douglas Shire, Cairns and the Cassowary Coast to ensure Wolbachia is self-sustaining at high levels.
Research in Australia is helping us to refine our approach and adapt it for use internationally. Our project in Townsville was the first to show that Wolbachia could be deployed at citywide scale through community mosquito releases, with no local dengue transmission after four rainy seasons. Today, our unique method is gaining the support of governments and communities around the world as a low-cost and sustainable tool to prevent the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases.
Our work in Queensland is continuing as local health authorities adopt our innovative Wolbachia method and implement new projects in Ingham and the Northern Peninsula Area, to protect communities from mosquito-borne diseases.
Dengue Safe Project Ingham
The Dengue Safe Project Ingham is a partnership between Townsville Hospital and Health Service, Hinchinbrook Shire Council and the WMP. The project has already begun recruiting volunteers to host egg containers with Wolbachia carrying mosquitoes in their backyards, with releases proposed for early 2019.
Learn more about the project on their website.
Dengue Out Program
The Dengue Out Program is a collaboration between the Tropical Public Health Service (TPHS), the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council and the WMP.
For more information, email TPHS or phone 1800 DENGUE.
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