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Billboard Targets Mosquitoes to Fight Zika Virus

A billboard that attracts and kills mosquitoes has been designed by marketing agencies in Brazil. The board releases a mixture of a lactic acid solution that mimics the smell of human sweat and carbon dioxide, which is in human breath.

Billboard Targets Mosquitoes to Fight Zika VirusThe two companies behind the Mosquito Killer Board, Posterscope and NBS, believe it could help in the fight against the Zika virus, which is carried by mosquitoes. So far, they have installed two of the Mosquito Killer Billboards in Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. The firms will not be selling the advertising space on the billboard.

The insects are drawn to the aroma from the board from a distance of up to 2.5 kilometers away, say the board’s inventors, who have released the blueprint for free and are encouraging people around the world to make them. Once the mosquitoes are trapped inside the billboard, they die of dehydration.

“It’s impressive how many mosquitoes you can trap and how many lives you can save with this idea,” said Otto Frossard from Posterscope. “I think anything that can be done to reduce the prevalence of the mosquito is a good thing, particularly devices like this that attract mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus,” he explained.

There are more than 1,000 confirmed cases of Zika-associated microcephaly in Brazil, currently, and almost 5,000 suspected cases. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently stated the Zika virus is a global public health emergency and requires an urgent answer, for which the billboard may play a small role.