An ad agency in Brazil has come up with what might be one of the most innovative weapons against the Zika virus: A billboard that not only raises awareness but kills thousands of mosquitos at the same time.
Called quite simply The Mosquito Killer Billboard the ingenious device releases an airborne solution which replicates human sweat, attracting mosquitos from up to 4km away.
Once the mosquito arrives a powerful fluorescent bulb combined with a fan then draw the insects in before finally catching them on the large white sticky billboard.
What makes the invention really powerful isn’t the message, it’s the fact that anyone, anywhere can replicate it.
The entire project by nbs has been created under a Creative Commons Agreement which means that any town council, organisation or individual can download the exact specifications and build their own.
Last week the US Centre for Disease Control confirmed that up to 2.2 billion people could be at risk from the Zika virus.
Described as a ‘global emergency’ by the World Health Organisation the virus has become a top priority for health officials in Brazil who are being overwhelmed by the disease.
What is Zika?
It belongs to a family of viruses knows as flaviviruses. According to thegeneticliteracyproject.org it was first detected in humans in Uganda in 1952. It spreads through the bites of a specific species of mosquito known as Aedes aegypti.
Once bitten, the person carries the virus in the blood for a week, which is the best time to get tests done.
Why is it so dangerous?
There has been a sudden spike in the cases of microcephaly. Between 2010 and 2014 only 163 cases were reported in Brazil. However, since October this has rapidly risen to more than 3,000 cases to date.