Argentina is grappling with a record-breaking dengue outbreak that has killed more than 40 people and infected more than 60,000, mainly in the northwest.
The infection is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, and the last major outbreak to hit Argentina was in 2020.
However, the Ministry of Health said dengue cases were starting to stabilize.
Biologists irradiated thousands of male mosquitoes in the lab before releasing them in the hope that their offspring would not be rendered non-viable due to DNA damage.
“As temperatures rise in our country and the world, the mosquitoes are likely to continue to spread. Their populations are moving farther and farther south,” biologist Marianela Garcia Alba was quoted by Reuters as saying.
The goal, she added, is to make the mosquitoes exposed to the radiation the dominant species to curb the spread of dengue.
Argentina’s northwestern provinces of Salta, Tucumán and Jujuy, which border Chile and Bolivia, have seen the highest number of deaths.
Dengue symptoms include fever, headache, nausea and joint pain.
The Ministry of Health has urged people to step up anti-mosquito measures, including installing mosquito nets on windows and doors, using insect repellent and removing any water containers that could be breeding grounds.