Could LEDs Help Fight the Zika Virus?
It’s difficult to blame any single factor for the rapid spread of diseases like the Zika virus and dengue fever. One thing on which experts can agree, however, is that warmer temperatures around the globe are helping tropical insects survive in temperate zones. About 4 billion people are at risk of mosquito-borne infectious disease today, according to the World Health Organization. More hospitable conditions for the insects could push that figure to as high as 9 billion by the end of the century. But blanketing our population centers in toxic bug sprays and pesticides isn’t exactly a comforting solution. Lighting Science Group, a Florida company that specializes in the application of light-emitting diode (LED) technology, thinks it has a better way. The company is part of a growing field of research that seeks to control pests using light.