The USA has taken substantial actions to fight against vector-borne diseases such as Zika. During August of 2020, the US Environmental Protection Agency approved a new chemical called nootkatone for use in repellants that could help the world better fight insect-borne diseases.
Nootkatone kills biting pests in a unique way, different from other insecticides already registered by the EPA, including pyrethroids, organophosphates, carbamates, and cyclodienes.
Unlike many other repellents and pesticides, nootkatone is naturally derived and is nontoxic to humans and other mammals. Additionally, nootkatone does not lose its potency after a few hours on the skin like many other naturally derived repellents.
Jay C. Butler, M.D., Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases at the U.S. CDC stated on August 10, 2020: “Providing new alternatives to existing bite-prevention methods paves the way to solving one of biggest challenges in preventing vector-borne diseases—preventing bites.”