Japanese rival companies team up to fight dengue fever

Two rival companies in Japan have joined hands to develop a mosquito spray to fight the growing spread of dengue fever in Southeast Asia and elsewhere.

Kao Corporation teamed up with Earth Corporation to combine expertise and shorten the development period for the product.

The companies say the spray uses a fine mist to saturate the wings and bodies of mosquitoes to prevent them from flying.

It does this through a solution in the spray with low surface tension that reduces the ability of the insect's body to repel water.

The companies say the spray does not contain any chemical insecticides. They plan to start selling it in Thailand from July.

The project combined Kao's technology and Earth's knowledge in the Southeast Asian market. The firms say they put aside their rivalry due to the growing health risks from the spread of dengue fever by mosquitoes.

Shimizu Yuji, president of Kao Industrial in Thailand, said, "We had a sense of urgency in this joint project in order to help eradicate dengue fever as soon as possible."

The World Health Organization says global dengue fever infections last year hit a record high of more than 6.5 million. The surge came amid concerns global warming will expand the mosquito's habitats, further spreading the potentially deadly infection.