Researchers: Andre West, Michael Roe, Charles Apperson, Marian McCord, Emiel DenHartog, Jiayin Li, and Lilah Halbkat
The mosquito is the deadliest animal in the world and is responsible for the death of approximately 725,000 people each year. In the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Zika virus was one of the major concerns for athletes and tourists. Zika virus is transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti but is also sexually transmitted. Once a pregnant woman is infected with Zika, the virus is transmitted to her fetus, causing severe birth defects. Women, especially pregnant women, are looking for reliable methods and products that can protect them and their babies against Zika virus, as well as other viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. However, current existing protection methods are based on chemical insecticides, which raise additional health concerns. As part of a five-year collaboration between North Carolina State University’s College of Natural Resources, College of Textiles, and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, researchers are aggressively looking to find solutions to protect people living and working in locations infected with mosquito-borne illnesses. We have developed textile structures that demonstrate exceptional comfort while providing 99.9 percent protection from mosquito bites. The public will have a new option for protection against mosquitoes that is both comfortable and fashionable.