Mosquito-borne dengue fever may have finally met its match. According to Scientific American, the disease’s first vaccine has been approved in three countries that suffer from the affliction – Brazil, the Philippines and Mexico. Medical officials hope that the vaccine will help to deter the nearly 400 million devastating cases of dengue that occur each year, 22,000 of which result in death.
Up until now, there has not been any sort of prevention or treatment for dengue infections, which are spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. With nearly 400 million dengue infections per year, the new vaccine could make a considerable difference in the lives of those exposed to the disease.
The new dengue vaccine, a drug called Sanofi, is not exactly 100 percent effective, but has been proven to reduce the changes of contracting dengue from an infected mosquito bite by 60 percent in people over the age of 9. More importantly, the drug is 95.5 percent effective against dengue hemorrhagic fever, a life-threatening form of the disease that effects 500,000 victims each year. With the new vaccine, severe cases of DHF could be drastically reduced, keeping countless dengue victims out of the hospital.
Experts project the first Sanofi inoculations in Brazil, the Philippines and Mexico will take place this year, after each country completes negotiations with Sanofi’s parent company. The vaccine will also be examined by the World Health Organization in April before making global recommendations.
Via The Verge