With just five months until the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, there are plenty of reasons for both athletes and visitors alike to be wary. CNBC's Power Lunch sat down with Intrexon CEO Randal Kirk, and discussed severity of the Zika virus and dangers ahead in Brazil. Melissa Lee asked Mr. Kirk whether or not he would visit Brazil. Without question he said, "I would not go." Mr. Kirk's biotechnology company, Intrexon, has started combating the infected mosquitoes with an advanced genetic solution called Oxitec; or sterile mosquito mates.
Oxitec recently announced the expansion of their 'Friendly Aedes aegypti Project' in Brazil to an area covering 35,000 to 60,000 residents after strong results demonstrated an 82 percent reduction in the wild larvae. Currently, open field trials have taken place in Grand Cayman, Malaysia, and areas of Brazil. Further regulatory approvals for imports have been confirmed in the United States, Cayman Islands, France, India,Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Just last month, Brazil's top health official announced that the Zika virus outbreak was much worse than originally believed. Zika has also been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization.