HANOI, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's central Khanh Hoa province will in March release mosquitos with Wolbachia bacteria into the wild environment to prevent dengue fever outbreaks, the provincial authorities said on Friday.
The release will be made in mid-March in four wards of the province's Nha Trang city, and local residents have already agreed with the project.
The release of mosquitos with Wolbachia has been implemented on a trial basis in the city's Tri Nguyen island, and has proved effective; no dengue fever outbreaks have been reported in the island.
Similar projects in foreign countries, including Australia, Indonesia, Brazil and Colombia have proved they are effective and safe for the environment and human health, said representatives of the Vietnamese project.
In 2016, Vietnam reported 106,300 dengue fever patients, including 36 fatalities, said the country's Preventive Medicine Department.
Wolbachia is a natural bacterium present in up to 60 percent of all the different species of insects, including some mosquito species, but it is not usually found in the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the primary species responsible for transmitting human viruses such as dengue, chikungunya, and Zika.
Researches in the world have shown that when introduced into the Aedes aegypti mosquito, Wolbachia can stop these viruses from growing inside the mosquito and being transmitted to people.
When mosquitoes with Wolbachia mate with wild female mosquitoes without Wolbachia, they are unable to reproduce. Releasing a limited number of mosquitoes with Wolbachia to breed with wild mosquitoes, over a small number of generations, will result in all the mosquitoes having Wolbachia.