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Blue is the color for wiping out sleeping sickness

By Tim Sandle     Jun 30, 2015 in Science
Scientists have found that the color blue is attractive to the tsetse fly. Knowing this could help in the battle against sleeping sickness.
Not so much a "red rag to a bull," but blue seems to attract tsetse flies. Knowing this could provide a means for controlling the flies and wiping out the parasitic disease carried by some of the flies, a disease which causes sleeping sickness.
Sleeping sickness (also known as African trypanosomiasis) is a parasitic infection of people. The parasite is carried by the tsetse fly and it is transmitted via a bite from the fly which puts the Trypanosoma brucei parasite into the blood stream. The disease is manifest in the form of lethargy and fever, and it can often be fatal. There are very few drugs available with which to treat the condition.
As part of the battle against the disease, scientists working in Uganda have discovered that the fly moves towards the color blue. According to the BBC, scientists are hoping that the use of blue targets will spell the end of the deadly disease.Such targets could include electricity, chemicals or simple sickness to kill the flies and to prevent them from reaching at risk communities.
In related news, scientists have worked out why some flies carry the parasite and others do not. It seems that the composition of the bacteria found inside the fly explains the likelihood of the fly being a carrier or not.
More about tsetse fly, Sleeping sickness, Parasite, Blue, Color
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