A More Effective Dengue Fever Vaccine Is Almost Out

By Wilkister Alao / November 30, 2019 | 8:41 am



HIV

Researchers have confirmed that dengue fever vaccine is almost out, after a series of research and trials to help curb the disease.

Scientists who have been working in a Japanese pharmaceutical research lab, Takeda, conducted a trial for the vaccine in about seven countries and confirmed that at last, the vaccine can protect people from the viral disease.

The trial was done on 20,000 citizens of the seven countries, among them Brazil, Panama, The Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, The Philippines, Thailand, and Columbia.

Dengue fever, however, seems to be a disease that is not known by many, or maybe it is just not given much attention, but one sure thing is that it is dangerous, with mild to severe symptoms just like many other diseases, and can kill.

Dengue Fever is a mosquito-borne disease caused by four closely related viruses that also cause West Nile infection and Yellow fever. It is transmitted by a bite of an Aedes mosquito when it bites someone infected with the virus.

The disease is most common in the tropical parts of the world, where about 400 million infections are reported annually, and about 96 million infected people fall ill.

Regions that are said to be prone to dengue fever virus are Africa, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and Mexico, among others.

While it is not common in some regions like America, it is said that most people who contract it are citizens who traveled abroad to regions that are dengue fever prone.

Its symptoms are said to vary with the age of the patient and can sometimes be hardly noticeable or very severe.

They include joint pains, pain behind the eyes, nausea, and vomiting. When a patent shows severe symptoms, he or she would bleed under the skin, nose, and have a blood-stained stool.

In Kenya, where malaria is the most common mosquito-borne disease, Dengue fever has had its outbreaks before, mostly in the Rift valley and coastal region. In September 2019, Dengue fever outbreaks were reported in Tiaty Sub County of Baringo County.

According to United Nations (UN) health agency, World Health Organization (WHO), the worst Dengue fever outbreak was reported in The Philippines in 2016, and it was during that period that the first vaccine was tried on one million children.

While the vaccine, known as Denvaxia, was said to be 80.2 percent efficient, but scientists raised concerns about its safety, leading to the abandonment of the vaccine by its developers who admitted that the vaccine could actually lead to severe forms of Dengue fever to at least one percent of the already infected children.

Scientists working in Takeda pharmaceutical laboratory in Japan have however said that the current vaccine they are working on is based on a weakened strain of the Dengue 2 virus and is effective against all four Dengue virus strains.

Derek Wallace the leader of the Takeda research team said this was a more effective vaccine that they expect will have a great impact on public health.

“We have tested it and it has proven to be efficient, we can’t wait to see the impact it will have on public health,” said Wallace.







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