Focus on breeding sites and biodiversity to control Zika, says leading epidemiologist

Sitting on his verandah in Laikipia, northern Kenya, Dr. Dino Martins, 38, a Kenyan entomologist with experience with malaria, tick fever, liverfluke and other vector-borne diseases, talks about the need to create healthy landscapes that are rich in biodiversity and clean of plastic.

This, rather than widespread spraying of pesticides, is the key to controlling mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and Zika virus, just declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization, according to Dr. Martins.

When present in healthy numbers, beneficial species such as bats, birds and geckos will consume vast quantities of adult mosquitoes, while birds, fish, dragonfly nymphs and diving beetles devour the larvae.

Last updated on 17 February 2016