Live chicken smell prevents malaria, research in Ethiopia reveals

THE smell from a live chicken could help protect against malaria, researchers have found.

Ethiopian and Swedish scientists discovered that malarial mosquitoes tend to avoid chickens and other birds.

The experiments, conducted in western Ethiopia, included suspending a live chicken in a cage near a volunteer sleeping under a bed net.

Last year, malaria killed nearly 400,000 people in Africa, the United Nations (UN) said.

Infection and death rates are declining, but health officials are continuing to look for new ways to prevent the spread of the disease.

Field trials for this stage of the research are now “in the pipeline,” he told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

Researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences were also involved in the project.

Compounds extracted from chicken feathers were also used in the experiments, as well as live chickens.

Researchers discovered that the use of the chicken and the compounds “significantly reduced” the number of mosquitoes that were found in the trap nearby.

The scientists said with reports that some mosquitoes were developing resistance to insecticide “novel control methods” need to be embraced.