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A dramatic decrease in cases of mosquito born diseases such as Dengue Fever and Malaria could be seen as soon as 2012, University of Queensland Engineering students revealed on Monday.

A team of fourth year Engineering students announced their design for the Mosquito Clamp, a product that would work by tricking the female mosquito or midge into thinking it was hunting a blood meal.

The clamp would releases carbon dioxide and other chemicals into the air. Once the female mosquito had been lured into the trap, it would be sucked through a series of electric mesh that would kill the insect.

Team member David Reynolds told JAC News that the Mosquito Clamp would be particularly useful for aid organisations in developing nations where malaria and other mosquito born diseases run rampant.

‘We’re hoping to protect hot spots such as hospitals and villages, specifically around water sources… where mosquitoes breed… if we can isolate the major water sources from the population we’ll be able to protect all the people in the area,’ Mr Reynolds said.

According to the World Health Organisation’s Malaria Report there were 243,000,000 cases of malaria in 2008, resulting in 863,000 deaths from the disease.

While efforts have been made by the WHO and governments to reduce malaria using bed nets, insecticides and pharmaceutical drugs, no product thus far has been designed that would extinguish the mosquito population in affected areas.

Mr Reynolds said because the clamp is powered by gas and electricity, considerations would have to be made before the product would become available in developing nations.

Fellow team member Daniel Zerphey said the clamp would eliminate 80 to 100 per cent of mosquitoes around water sources in a five year period with a much shorter period needed for households that used the product.

‘Around a household there’s been statistics to suggest it would take about eight weeks to reduce all the female mosquitoes in the area,’ Mr Zerphey said.

The engineering students predicted the Mosquito Clamp would be available for purchase mid 2011 and that it would also be useful for schools, councils and tourist parks in both the developed and developing world.

Article written by Ashleigh Buchanan

Image above taken from http://www.entm.purdue.edu/news/images/mosquito.jpg