Around 2.5 billion people worldwide are at risk from dengue fever - a virus spread by mosquitos which causes excruciating headaches, muscle and joint pain.

It is usually associated with the tropics of South East Asia and Africa, but as recently as 2009, there was a major outbreak in the Australian city of Cairns. 

At the city’s James Cook University, a team led by Professor Scott Ritchie is working on a new strategy for tackling dengue.

So, rather than immunising the human population against the disease, the mosquitoes are infected with bacteria that block their ability to carry the virus. 

These mosquitos are then released into the wild to breed, passing on the bacteria in the process and preventing future generations from carrying the virus. 

Tamara Sheward of The Cure meets Professor Ritchie to find out how the latest trials are progressing.



Watch The Cure on Tuesday 22:30; Wednesday 09:30; Thursday 03:30; Friday 16:30; Saturday 22:30; Sunday 09:30; Monday 03:30; Tuesday 16:30 GMT. 

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Source: Al Jazeera